Economy near collapse says Finance Minister

Staff Writer

The Zimbabwe govern toment is said to be taking full responsibility for bad policies that have seen annual inflation rising above 500%.
According to Africa Confidential, Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube has written to the International Finance Institutions (IFIs) in Washington saying that government takes “responsibility for the recent policy missteps during late 2019”.

The missteps have led to inflation peaking at above 500%.
Prof Ncube, according to a letter dated 2 April and seen by Africa Confidential, said that the government and the economy are near collapse, with the Coronavirus dealing the final blow.

“Zimbabwe’s economy could contract by 15-20% during 2020 – with very serious social consequences. Already 8,5 million Zimbabweans are food insecure, “ Prof Ncube is quoted as saying.

Ncube says the situation is so bad that it could cause an implosion of the state and threaten security in neighbouring countries.
“The global pandemic will take a heavy toll on the health sector with many lives being lost and raise poverty levels not seen in recent times, including worsening food security. A domestic collapse would also have potentially adverse regional effects, where spillovers are significant, “Prof Ncube is quoted as saying.

With concerns about Zimbabwe’s deepening economic crisis, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, in an African Union teleconference on Tuesday, continued to call for the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe.

However, senior finance officials in Washington have been quoted as saying the grand corruption and state violence have to go before they resume economic co-operation with Harare.