On the flawed and unimaginative Zanu PF manifesto

Despite the critique we have offered in the past, Zanu PF in its recently launched manifesto, insist on claiming that its vision is for Zimbabwe to be a middle-income country (MIC) by 2030.

By Arthur Mutambara

This is a bland and banal statement which requires qualification, quantification and supporting details for it to be meaningful. What does that vision statement even mean?

The MIC nomenclature is a World Bank analytical tool that refers to economies with a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita ranging from $1 005 to $12 235.

This is too broad a grouping. In any case our GDP per capita income is $977, hence jumping to $1 005 (if we consider minimum qualification) over 12 years is not sufficiently ambitious. This is not visionary at all.

It is instructive to note that the MICs are broken up into lower-MIC and upper-MICs.

Lower-MICs have GDP per capita ranging from $1 006 to $3 955, while upper-MICs have per GDP per capita ranging from $3 956 to $12 235.

Does Zanu PF aim for Zimbabwe to be a lower-MIC or an upper-MIC?

More importantly, what is the target GDP per capita in their vision formulation?

They must be specific and say we aim to be an MIC with a stated GDP per capita number (or range of numbers).

Even with this flawed approach to the national vision process, there is need for caution.

We must use the Rule of 70, which is a mathematical calculation used in economics to calculate how an economy can double its GDP per capita given a specific growth
rate.

Under this rule, the number of years to double a GDP per capita is equal to 70 divided by the growth rate.

So, for example, if we grow by 3%, then it will take us 70/3 = 23,33 years, to double our GDP per capita.

If we grow at 5%, then it will take us 14 years. For Zimbabwe to double its GDP per capita by 2030, that is, attain a GDP per capita of at least $1 944, it needs to grow by about 6% every year for the next 12 years — which is a tall order.

China did it though, but it is not easy. In Zanu PF’s vision, what is the target growth rate for Zimbabwe for the next 12 years to 2030?

In the manifesto, there is target of attaining a growth rate of at least 6% per annum over the period 2018 to 2023. What happens beyond 2023? They do not tell us.

Let us be generous and assume that Zanu PF wants to double our GDP per capita by 2030 — which would require an average growth of 6% for 12 years.

The problem is that it has been a historical impossibility, with the exception of China.

For example, between 1970 and 2010, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries only grew by an average of 1,9%!

With Zimbabwe, for sure in the first few years, we may experience above average growth rates because of our low base, but we will eventually gravitate towards standard and traditional growth rates, which are much lower than 6%.

More significantly from my analysis of their entire Zanu PF manifesto, I don’t see where that growth of at least 6% over the period 2018 to 2030, will come from.

There is absolutely no articulated and demonstrated sources of such phenomenal growth. Nothing!

It is neither sensible nor meaningful for Zanu PF to posit that their vision is for Zimbabwe to be an MIC by 2030.

Zimbabwe needs a proper vision process and a more rigorous economic planning effort.

In its 2018 manifesto, Zanu PF gets both the vision process and vision content wrong.

A national vision has three pillars — politics, society & the economy — with over-arching issues being values and mega-impact projects.

Arthur Mutambara is a former Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe during the unity government

8 Comments

  1. Aaagh Professor dai maramba muchitambira ku Robotics and Mechatronics and spare us the academic masturbation that you are now spewing. Ethiopia growth rate has been double digit for the last decade and the country lifted more than 50 million people out of extreme poverty in a decade. Meles Zenawi was a visionary. I am surprised even why people think 1,5million houses cannot be built in 5 years yes they can be built Ethiopia again is doing it. I dont even want to say South Africa but Ethiopia is doing with the help of the Chinese of course. Munangagwa is not Mugabe just like Deng Xiaoping was not Mao despite long time with Mao he changed China to what it is today so ED can do it if he wants which i think he does.

    1. so even the bullet train is possible too

      1. possible yes but is it needed at the moment. No. Houses. Yes. Genious

    2. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. The trouble is the people in control of the country. Their track record speaks for them. Ukaona munhu anotaura zvekuchera zvibhorani iyezvino, iye ari president, haafaniri kubvumidzwa kuita chero sabhuku.
      Too many people have been hypnotized by ZPF to the point that they completely ignore their criminal incompetence.

  2. Why is the professor confusing himself with irrelevant points. This is beneath ur level Arthur. I guess tony Blair is right, go back to robotics

  3. I expected better from Mr. Mutambara. For someone who is apparently learned and was in government, his conceptualization of national issues is very poor. He makes reference to success stories elsewhere and then comes back to declare it’s not possible in Zimbabwe. SA GDPs were driven by construction for more than 5 years prior to the 2010 world cup. Now Zim has set an ambitious target to build houses to drive GDP and we turn around and say hazviite. Now the professor wants a strategic document in the real world to be like a thesis at a university! He surely can do better…

    1. Lies. SA’s GDP growth rates prior to 2010 under Thabo Mbeki were driven by consumption expenditure – mainly retail/tertiary sector driven. That is why it was said to be jobless growth. It was growth that created no jobs but enriched the Capitalists. It is for that reason that the ANC govt introduced the Industrial Policy Action Plans (IPAPS); three year rolling industrialisation action programs to facilitate growth of the productive sector.

  4. Vana Aurthur – you were there in GNU and in MDC manifesto yamakaita yaiva ambitious ndeipi bambo. Zivai zhedu editor parade ku RSA uko. level rarema iri.

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