Zimbabwe's 2014 Budget

For any of us who were hoping that the national Budget presentation would offer some guidance on how we might negotiate hazards or capitalise on opportunities that might present themselves in 2014, the regrettable fact is that most of the Budget statement’s claims can be challenged and the guidance offered would be dangerous to accept.

Working through the lengthy text  of the Minister’s speech, the evidence is clear that he does have an understanding of most of the problems that affect the country.

The adjacent list is drawn from his own descriptions of the difficulties in need of attention. Unfortunately, it is far from complete. More unfortunately, the Minister makes no reference to the direct link between these problems and the thoroughly unattractive investment climate that is very efficiently ensuring that all these problems will remain firmly in place.

And even more unfortunately, sanctions are blamed for all the problems. To quote from his speech: “The imposition of the illegal sanctions against our country and the accumulation of the external debt… is the cost that we have had to pay for daring to reassert our sovereign control over our land.”

In fact, the money was lent to Zimbabwe when its economy was functioning well enough to give the country every prospect of making full repayments on time. When government forced the closure of the thousands of companies that made up Zimbabwe’s biggest business sector and earned most of the country’s foreign earnings, capital repayments and even interest payments became impossible.

As for the sanctions, they were actually imposed, not on Zimbabwe, but on individuals who were implicated in violations of the human and civil rights of Zimbabwean citizens. Trade statistics show that every one of the countries said to be imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe is, in fact, regularly engaged in trade and most are also contributing aid funds and various forms of support for social services. All of them still have embassies here and Zimbabwe has embassies in their countries. Government perpetuates the sanctions fiction to ensure that it can deflect the blame for its failings onto others.

For the full report please visit http://www.robertsoneconomics.com/2014/01/07/zimbabwes-2014-zimbabwes-2014-budget/