Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has done his reputation and his standing a lot of good by convincing world leaders to accept Zimbabwe’s debt repayment plan.
When he took over the Finance ministry,Chinamasa was guilty of a fair bit of posturing, but it has since dawned on him what to do to get Zimbabwe’s economy back on track.
His futile trip to China must have been an eye-opener that to get financing, Zimbabwe had to repay its debts and there is no country willing to throw money without a guarantee of a return for its investment.
Chinamasa, for all his faults, has certainly burnt the midnight oil working for Zimbabwe and we graciously applaud his efforts.
The Finance minister managed to convince Zimbabwe’s main creditors, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB), to accept a debt repayment plan and this marks the beginning of an arduous, but important journey for the country to clear its arrears of $1,8 billion.
Chinamasa has so far steered clear of the succession debate which his colleagues seem to be obsessed with and instead has concentrated on trying to rescue the moribund economy.
While Chinamasa spends sleepless nights working for the country, we are distressed by his Cabinet colleagues, who seem hell-bent on driving Zimbabwe back to the Stone Age.
As Chinamasa was working all out to convince sceptic investors that Zimbabwe was ready to be a part of the international community of nations, War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa, who seems to be fighting an imaginary war with the IMF, was having a go at his colleague.
Mutsvangwa claimed Chinamasa was acting as if he was the spokesman of the IMF, clearly admonishing him for engaging the multilateral lender.
The War Vets minister, thanks to his stint in China, seems to think that only the Far East country can help Zimbabwe, yet it is evident that the country needs help from all corners to make it out of this sticky economic patch. Mutsvangwa’s self-serving approach to Zimbabwe’s problems is unhelpful and he should allow Chinamasa to do his job unhindered.
Zimbabweans are certainly tired of people like Mutsvangwa, who believe they are the only ones with answers to the country’s problems. Instead of ideas, Mutsvangwa resorts to cheap verbosity and grandiosity, both unnecessary and unhelpful.
Whether Zimbabwe looks to China, Iran or even North Korea, the chances of getting a bailout are extremely slim because of the country’s poor record of servicing debts.
It is in this regard that we advise Mutsvangwa to snap out of his fanciful and imaginary dreams that China is Zimbabwe’s knight in shining armour and we urge him to support Chinamasa’s efforts. After all, President Robert Mugabe went to China and promised Zimbabweans mega deals, yet we are yet to see anything tangible from his excursions to the Far East.
We urge Chinamasa to ignore Mutsvangwa and all like-minded individuals in Cabinet and instead keep his eye on the ball to rescue the economy.
Chinamasa is proving to be the only minister with a head on his shoulders and no matter how difficult it gets, it is imperative that he is encouraged to soldier on.