IMF’s futile attempt to revive ESAP


RECOMMENDATIONS by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the Government of Zimbabwe to retrench civil servants as part of a ‘plan’ to help reduce the country’s debt are an attempt to revive the moribund Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP) and retard the emergence of a new economy that the country has been building since year 2000.
Fresh in the minds of many Zimbabweans are the challenges that followed after the adoption of ESAP as ‘prescribed’ by the IMF in 1995.
The opening up of economic activity to the well established, well supported global capital stifled the development of indigenous industries, the gross exploitation of labour, the erosion of the working class’ buying power and extensive cuts in Government social expenditure are some of the social problems created by the IMF and its widely discredited prescriptions.
Politically, Western countries, themselves owners of the IMF connived with some local dimwits to form the MDC.
The rest is history.
Now having prodded that path, the people of Zimbabwe emboldened by a decade long sanctions induced period of remaking and reshaping their destiny are now in the final stages of a new economy that will take shape minus the ‘advice’ and presence of white capital, the IMF included.
We took back our land against the advice and recommendation of the IMF and today the success that followed this unwavering stance on matters of our sovereignty and upliftment of the majority is there for all to see.
The tobacco farmers buying new equipment every year, those buying cars, properties and those building new houses with enough savings to last them the whole year have done so without at times government support.
The IMF‘s stance on Zimbabwe’s land indigenisation drive has never been in doubt.
This is the same stance and attitude that the Breton Woods institution has on the final phase of Zimbabwe’s long, painful and sometimes heart breaking march towards the establishment of a new economy which is now within our reach.
You do not build an economy by sending people home.
This is where the IMF, in its typical big brother attitude misses the point.
People can at worst be sent home when we have a vibrant and well functioning economy that can cater for the jobless.
We applaud the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Patrick Chinamasa for refusing to listen to IMF nonsense.
Retrenchment in an economy like this is political capital for the West and its puppets here.
It can never be an option.
“We cannot address the employment cost issue overnight,” Minister Chinamasa told reporters in Harare last week after a meeting with the IMF officials.
“I have told them that I will address this in the long term by growing the economy and improving GDP.”
While the IMF’s reasons for cutting wages are as appetising as they come, there is need to look at the bigger picture for the people of Zimbabwe.
That sending people home would allow the country to free money to develop its failing infrastructure, including roads and power-generating plants, as well as social services like health and education is against reality.
The reality is that Zimbabwe has weathered the storm of the illegal economic sanctions, successive droughts due to climate change and sabotage by heads of state entities and parastatals who milked the country by corruptly awarding themselves obscene salaries and outright corruption, but all that is about to change.
The anticipated bumper harvest in Zimbabwe is without doubt a game changer both for the people and the country’s economy.
Where the country used to spend millions in importing maize, that money will be channelled to other developmental initiatives.
Where the country supported foreign industries through imports, the new industries, now firmly in the hands of local and proudly black capital courtesy of the ongoing indigenisation and economic empowerment programme will bring that famous smoke again.
Put simply, the country’s import bill will drastically decline due to a commendable performance in the agricultural sector.
More good will be brought by the mining sector which will rebound strengthening Government’s new economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-ASSET).
Beneficiation a key component of Zim-ASSET will be the focal point in national development.
The ongoing strikes in South Africa’s platinum sector will boost the country’s revenue inflows.
All this is happening without the help of the IMF whose solution to the so-called Zimbabwe ‘crisis’ is sending people home.
We have learnt from our mistakes.
We will not repeat the ESAP fiasco again.
We will religiously stick to our empowerment plans and programmes.
We have our solutions to our problems.
These solutions have proven time and again that we can do it on our own.
So while it is commendable that the IMF has started re-engagement efforts with Zimbabwe, it is their methods of solving the country’s economic challenges.
History is very much our side.
We will continue with the path towards a new economy.
Let those with ears listen.


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