Candid Comment: Leave economists to do their job!

Mutsvangwa, who is Zanu PF’s spokesperson, painted the professor of economics as a bad guy.

Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs minister Christopher Mutsvangwa came out guns blazing during a recent press conference, criticising one of the nation’s leading economists, Gift Mugano, for his “anti-economic” commentaries.

Mutsvangwa, who is Zanu PF’s spokesperson, painted the professor of economics as a bad guy.

Due to his “threats”, Mugano was compelled to immediately declare on the micro-blogging site X that he would no longer be making any comments regarding the local economy.

“I watched three separate Zanu PF official pressers, including the one which was done today (January 12), and noted with concern incessant reference to my person as a person who is anti-economic progress,” Mugano wrote.

“In today’s presser, in particular, from the 46-52 minute and the last minute of the presser, Cde Mutsvangwa made extensive reference to my name and expressed his or the party’s frustration on my economic commentaries.”

“A presser by a Zanu-PF official, that is, the ruling or governing party cannot be taken lightly. It is serious business.

“Based on these facts, I would like to categorically make it clear that from this moment and onwards, I will not comment on any economic matter on any matter related to our beloved country,” he said, adding that he would now devote his time and energy in the region.

Mugano has been very critical of the policies of the government that have created a number of macro-economic problems.

These include rising political risks, high employment rate, power outages, water scarcity, declining disposable incomes, falling levels of both domestic and foreign investment and climate change.

Although Mutsvangwa and his Zanu PF allies may be relieved that they have finally silenced one of their critics, the country has actually lost a valuable asset.

This is due to the critical function that independent economists play in a nation.

For instance, they perform economic research and analysis, develop and apply theories about production and distribution of goods and services and people’s spending and financial behaviour, and provide advice to governments and organisations on economic policy issues.

Government officials and business managers use economic forecasts to determine fiscal and monetary policies and plan future operating activities, respectively.

Regrettably, the government seeks to surround itself with swayed analysts who will feed them the narrative they want to hear.

This is one of the reasons why this country is in this mess. The government is having trouble stabilising the economy because it doesn’t give a damn about what other people think. Once you criticise them, you are labelled an enemy of progress.

Constructive criticism is good as it can guide you away from bad practices and towards good ones. Zanu PF needs to learn to accept criticism. 

It is every citizen’s responsibility to contribute to the well-being and development of this country — Zanu PF ought to be reminded of this..

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