Zim economy to grow 10% per year — PM

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The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says it can grow the economy by 10% once elected into power.

Since the formation of the unity government, the country’s economy has stabilised and the International Monetary Fund expects GDP growth of 7,3% this year — much lower than the government’s official estimate of 9,3%.

Speaking at the MDC congress held in Bulawayo at the weekend, Tsvangirai said he was confident his party would win the next elections.

“The elections are critical in that they will, without doubt, usher an MDC government into power,” Tsvangirai said.

“It is only an MDC government that has capacity and support to grow this economy by about 10% every year.”

In the past decade foreign exchange shortages, a weakened Zimbabwean dollar and unprecedented hyperinflation, were among major factors that crippled the growth of the country’s economy.

Tsvangirai said his party would embrace investor-friendly policies, attracting investment in mining, infrastructure development and agriculture to boost growth and deal with a jobless rate of more than 90%.

The country has the world’s second-biggest platinum resources after South Africa and sizeable gold, diamond, coal and ferrochrome resources.

President Robert Mugabe has rattled foreign investors with plans to force mining companies to surrender at least 51% of their local shares to blacks by the end of September.

The MDC warns this would lead to economic collapse.

At the congress, Tsvangirai retained the MDC leadership unchallenged, while the majority of senior members were voted back into office.

Analysts said he would have to move quickly to heal the party after bitter fights for leadership posts.