President Robert Mugabe’s recent promise to review the salary of civil servants upwards should not be taken seriously since he is a master of doublespeak, a respected South Africa-based think-tank has said.
The Oxford-linked NKC African Economics (NKC) in its latest research instalment on Zimbabwe said Mugabe’s promises will always be “whisperings in the wind”.
Apart from promising a salary review Mugabe also claimed that his broke government will resuscitate several companies that are on the brink of collapse as the country marked 36 years of independence.
“Zimbabwean officials have become serial makers of promises that they never keep, and there is nothing to suggest this time is any different. While…Mugabe was celebrating 36 years of Zimbabwean independence with what remains of the party faithful and claiming his government had managed to turn around the economy, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa was talking up big policy changes and renewing several old promises as yet unfulfilled,” NKC said.
Speaking at the independence celebrations, Mugabe said his government was determined to translate political independence into meaningfulness by attending to the socio-economic needs of our people.”
However, the situation on the ground is contrary to such claims, with at least four million people expected to be in urgent need of food.
NKC said Mugabe appears to have fallen in a “rabbit hole”, adding that his government’s policy inconsistencies have dealt a blow to investment.
“The removal of, or even just some positive changes to, the fundamental socio-economic and political obstacles preventing the full resurrection of the country’s terminal economy would be welcomed by outsiders and wildly celebrated by Zimbabweans with its massive unemployment and widespread poverty.
“But previous premature assessments of the potential for change in Zimbabwe under the current regime have left us cautious this time — compelling us to take a ‘wait and see’ approach,” NKC said.
The think-tank said the country’s indigenisation law, which requires foreign-owned companies to cede 51 percent of their shares to locals, should have been gone years ago if previous “seismic” policy changes had reached fruition.
Among some of the promises that Mugabe’s government made was the creation of over two million jobs and massive infrastructural development.
In the past, Mugabe has also promised people free education, health for all by 2020 and has also produced at least six economic blueprints since 1980, but all those have failed to yield meaningful results. daily news