President Mnangagwa’s speech writers have been accused of embarrassing him by making him read lies at 78th edition of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) in New York, yesterday.
Renowned investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono says it is not true that Zimbabwe’s economy has been the fastest growing in Southern Africa in the last 3 years as Mnangagwa said in his speech yesterday.
“I will juxtapose Botswana to Zimbabwe and look at their annual economic growth from 2020 to 2022.
“Zimbabwe’s economy only grew by 3% in 2022. Zimbabwe’s neighbour Botswana’s economy grew by 4.2%.
“Zimbabwe’s economy grew by 8.5% in 2021, Botswana’s economy grew by 11.87 percent,” says Chin’ono.
He adds that in 2020 Zimbabwe’s economy closed at -7.92%, which actually meant that didn’t grow, but shrunk due to Covid.
“In 2020 Botswana’s economy grew by -8.73, meaning that it shrunk due to Covid.
“So it is not true that Zimbabwe’s economy was the fastest growing in the last 3 years.
I could have used many countries in the region but it wasn’t necessary.
“Zimbabwe has the world’s highest inflation rate at 822% and it has 95% unemployment rate.
“The speech writers shouldn’t embarrass the president like this, and the president should also read data and not just read speeches with false information that can easily be verified,” he says.
As Chin’ono noted, according to the World Bank, Zimbabwe’s economic growth was estimated to have slowed to 3.4% in 2022 from 8.5% in 2021 on the back of worsening agriculture conditions and macroeconomic instability.
The Bank also noted that due to low rainfall, agricultural output contracted by 14%, after growing at double digits in 2021.
Triple-digit inflation constrained private sector demand, while fiscal austerity limited growth of government demand and investment.
Mineral exporters benefited from high global prices and, together with tourism, contributed the most to overall economic growth.