In today’s highly polarised Zimbabwe, any form of criticism of the government is deemed as support for the opposition, and the opposite is also deemed true.
However according to political commentators it is high time the country should abandon this binary thinking and engage in constructive criticism without it being deemed otherwise.
The calls comes after Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube’s admission that the country is suffering economically because of bad policies, lack of economic, and political reforms.
These same sentiments had been raised countless times by different market watchers, but they were termed political opponents of the state. With the government only blaming sanctions for ruining the country’s economy.
However, in a recent leaked letter by Ncube to the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) he admitted the ruinous policies by the government and lack of reforms as the key impediments to Zimbabwe’s economic prospects.
Meanwhile, commenting on the disclosure by the minister, political analyst, Elder Mabhunu, says the current binary thinking or polarisation is counter-productive, draws attention away from the real issues and curtails content-based and objective discussions.
This has also been supported by another analyst, Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya who says; “These revelations should make the government do the right things to confront the Zimbabwe political question. No more denials and lies.”
Another renowned analyst, Alex Magaisa added, that the IFIs haven’t formally responded to Ncube and that Africa Confidential’s IFI source says; “Zimbabwe is in a political, not an economic policy, crisis …without credible change on that level, nothing else will move. This echoes what many of us have been saying: Fix the politics!”
The IMF and WB Executive Board recently approved immediate debt service relief to 25 poor countries of the IMF membership under the IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) as part of the Fund’s response to help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The relief is to the tune of 50 billion. While commenting on the miss by Zimbabwe at that time, Ncube said he would apply for the relief if the leeway permit, hence the leaked letter.
However, Zimbabwe was not on the list of beneficiary countries having cleared it’s US$108 million arrears in 2016 and is now working on clearing about USD$2.2bn owed to the World Bank and African Development Bank.
According to the world’s biggest financial institutions, poor countries should apply for debt relief, as a way to fight the deadly coronavirus. The relief would assist, in ensuring that poor countries channel resources towards coronavirus, which could have been used to pay debts.