THE Politburo of the ruling Zanu-PF is prioritising the economy ahead of politics to accelerate implementation of developmental programmes that benefit the populace, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa has said.
At a Business Breakfast Meeting held by The Herald Business in Harare last Thursday, Minister Chinamasa said he was pleased the party’s highest decision-making organ outside Congress accorded economic development great importance in its deliberations.
The breakfast meeting discussed the economic deals that Zimbabwe and China signed during President Mugabe’s state visit to the Asian country last month.
The agreements cover energy, agriculture, roads, railways and water; and are expected to leverage Zimbabwe’s economy, which, between 2007 and 2008, nearly collapsed under Western sanctions.
The sanctions — stemming from Britain’s resistance to Zimbabwe’s land reforms — have affected manufacturing, industry, social services, infrastructural development and trade.
Government is stimulating economic growth through the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation, with the Chinese deals also expected to spur large-scale economic activity.
Minister Chinamasa said: “I am happy because as the Politburo, we are now discussing the economy every time we meet. I think it is important.”
Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo said the economy was uppermost on the Politburo agenda.
“The Politburo has been seized by the economy, not politics. It is important for the development of our country,” he said.
“I cannot recall offhand, when we started it, but we resolved the economy should be permanently on the agenda.”
Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Christopher Mutsvangwa said political fighting had cost Zimbabwe 15 years of economic development.
“Do we eat politics? Everything has been degraded as a result of this politicisation. All these years have gone down the drain due to political bickering. It is good that one of the items permanent on their agenda is the economy. We have been expending lots of energy on wrong things . . .
“For 30 years, we have never built a new power station.
“Who will come to invest money where there is no power? Who will run a smelter using a generator? Who will come to invest in a country where there is no water?
“The construction of the new power station in Kariba and Hwange 7 and 8 will do wonders. These are enablers to kick-start the economy. It is important we focus more on that rather than politics.”