Back to Index
This article participates on the following special index pages:
Marange, Chiadzwa and other diamond fields and the Kimberley Process - Index of articles
Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Election Review Report – October 1st – 31 October 2013
The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
November 15, 2013
PDF version (733KB)
If you do not have the free Acrobat reader
on your computer, download it from the Adobe website by clicking
media highlight Zim’s economic decline
media widely reported Zimbabweans’ hopes for a quick economic
turnaround under the new ZANU PF government as fading fast as more
reports on symptoms of economic deterioration emerge almost on a
Among them was
news of further company closures; retrenchments; high unemployment
levels; failure to significantly increase civil servants salaries;
persistent water and power cuts; acute food shortages; deterioration
of infrastructure; and outbreaks of water-borne diseases.
continued to persist more than 100 days after the
July 31st election despite promises by ZANU PF during the campaign
period that the party would prioritize the revival of the country’s
economy if Zimbabweans gave it the sole mandate to govern.
Under its manifesto
entitled: Indigenize, Empower, Develop and Create Employment, ZANU
PF outlined its goals over the next five years. These included the
creation of more than two million jobs, unlocking US$7,3 billion
from the indigenization of 1,138 companies; raising $7 billion to
stimulate agricultural productivity, and financing the rehabilitation
and construction of infrastructure; increasing the average GDP growth
rate to 9%, up from the current 4,4%; construction of 250,000 low
income housing units, 2,500 shell factories, the creation of new
market stands, 610 schools and clinics; the rehabilitation of 1,250
government owned buildings; eliminating corruption; and ensuring
food security for all Zimbabweans “as a central pillar of
also appeared to form part of President Mugabe’s speech
during the official opening of the First Session of the Eighth Parliament
of Zimbabwe on September 17th. During this event Mugabe outlined
14 Bills to be debated, 11 (79%) of which were on socio-economic
recovery programmes. But such hopes appeared to have been dampened
by disturbing reports about the deterioration of Zimbabwe’s
Among them was
a story that appeared in the Zimbabwe Independent (18/10), indicating
that “scores of big companies that used to employ tens of
thousands of workers are either on the verge of collapse or have
closed down completely, leaving workers stranded”.
The report was
based on a July 2013 National Social Security Authority (NSSA) Harare
Regional Employer Closures and Registrations Report for the period
July 2011 to July 2013, which revealed that 711 companies in Harare
had closed down, rendering 8,336 workers jobless.
Among the companies
that were downsizing and retrenching were platinum miners, Zimplats
and Unki, and Bindura Nickel, Spar supermarkets, Dairibord, Cairns,
Olivine Industries and PG Industries.
In another report,
Studio 7 (24/10) reported Zimbabwe as having missed the third-quarter
budget revenue targets “as economic growth slows and mineral
royalties diminish, indicating a tough task ahead for the ZANU-PF
government in turning around the economy”.
In a statement,
the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) said it collected $897 million
between July and September against a target of $905 million. It
attributed the shortfall to company closures and firms that are
scaling down due to lack of capital to revamp operations.
Stanford Moyo said the economy continued to face challenges, such
as erratic power supplies, liquidity constraints, and depressed
industrial capacity, among other issues.
that company tax collections were 3% percent short of the target
and mining royalties were 39% below projections. He blamed this
on fluctuating mineral prices and failure by some diamond mines
under Western sanctions to sell their gems.
noted that individual tax collections rose 23% after ZIMRA extended
its net, but that company closures were expected to have “a
huge impact on such taxes”.
7 (22/10) reported that Zimbabwe’s plans to quickly turn around
the economy had “hit a snag due to mounting debts and lack
of foreign direct investment”. This story was based on revelations
by Treasury that the country recorded “a $74 million budget
deficit for the month of July as recurrent expenditure continued
its upward trend”.
(22/10) also reported Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa as having
told the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank the previous
week that “it will be difficult to turn around the economy
without additional loans”. But the two organizations told
him that Zimbabwe “has to settle its external debt totalling
more than $10 billion before asking for additional funding”.
The private media’s coverage of Zimbabwe’s economic
troubles was reflected by reports with such headlines as:
- Biti: Zimbabwe
Economy Shrinking, Debts to Increase (Studio 7, 29/10).
- Are Bank
Queues Resurfacing in Zimbabwe? (Studio 7, 1/11).
- No Progress
in Civil Servants' Salary Negotiations (Studio 7, 31/10).
- Zim Govt,
Civil Servants Brace for Clashes Over Pay Increase (Studio 7,
- $200 Million
Debt Haunts Harare Council (Studio 7, 30/10)
- Harare council
plunged into debt after bill write-off (SW Radio Africa, 29/10).
- Hwange Colliery
workers put on unpaid leave after 6 months without wages (SW Radio
- Jobs crisis:
University graduates turn to vending (Daily News, 5/11).
- Zim seeks
budgetary support from China (Daily News, 4/11). • NRZ to
retrench 6,000 workers (Daily News, 1/11).
- Zim tumbles
on World Bank rankings (Daily News, 31/10).
sector in crisis (Daily News, 31/10).
feel the pinch….as cost of living goes up (Daily News, 21/10).
- Harare City
Council fails to pay workers (Daily News, 18/10).
investor confidence dogs Zim (Daily News, 29/10).
dramatically increase (Daily News, 28/10).
crisis worsens, and, Uncertainty dogs Zim’s economic growth
(Daily News, 3/10).
economic growth receding: IMF (Daily News, 9/10).
government media widely reported the ZANU PF government as not only
making positive strides in reviving Zimbabwe’s economy, but
also in total control of the situation.
This was summed
up with The Sunday Mail’s news feature (3/11): Team Zanu-
PF - 54 days in office, which celebrated the “achievements”
of the President’s 26-member Cabinet since its swearing-in
on September 11th.
The weekly reported
the President as having tasked Cabinet with “steering the
country’s economy back to full functionality and reviving
to “hit the ground running”, The Sunday Mail reported
the new ZANU PF government as having “since initiated a raft
of povertyalleviation programmes and revived a number of key capital
projects aimed at injecting fresh impetus into the country’s
struggling economy”, in line with the revolutionary party’s
the reins of government, several critical projects, such as the
rehabilitation of water supply infrastructure in several towns and
cities across the country have taken off, reported The Sunday Mail.
The weekly observed
that, a few weeks after the elections, “Zimbabwe witnessed
a series of morale-sapping power outages across the board, drawing
a barrage of criticism against the new establishment from many sections
which predicted that the power situation would become an albatross
around the new Government’s neck”.
though, The Sunday Mail reported, “the new Government moved
with speed to address the erratic power supply, which has somewhat
The weekly reported:
“Furthermore, after years of sustained insidious attacks and
funding cuts for the agricultural sector during the four-year tenure
of the ill-fated inclusive
Government, Team Zanu-PF has already sent a clear message that
agriculture will receive unfettered support over the next five years”,
adding: “To date, a number of sector-specific support schemes
for agriculture have been availed through various economic cluster
ministries and the President’s Office injected the much-needed
oomph into the key economic driver.”
media’s positive coverage of government efforts to revive
the economy was also evident in reports with the following headlines:
economy beckons for Zim, and, Zim economy set for top 10 by 2020
(The Sunday Mail, 3/11).
- Bonus for
civil servants, and, Zim economy set to grow (The Herald, 2/11).
- Govt to
reorganise mining sector, and, Lending to private sector marginally
up, (The Herald, 1/11).
- Govt to
settle RBZ FCA debts, Govt in bid to recapitalise IDC, and, Multi-currency
to anchor Zim Asset (The Herald, 31/10).
starts work to fulfil promises, and, Govt to address liquidity:
VP (The Herald, 25/10).
projects approved (ZTV, 25/10, 8pm).
engages Zim on gems, and, Zim welcomes AWDC engagement (ZTV, 25
& 27/10, 8pm).
- Govt to
deal with corruption (The Herald, 24/10).
endorses blueprint (The Herald, 23/10).
master stroke, and, Market confident of Chinamasa (The Sunday
- Mining targets
on course: Govt (ZTV, 19/10, 8pm).
- Govt sets
9,9pc economic growth target (The Herald, 18/10).
- Govt prioritises
Air Zim viability (ZTV, 18/10, pm).
blueprint unveiled (The Herald, 17/10).
- Forget the
past, investors told (The Herald, 16/10).
- ZUPCO return
to viability on course (ZTV, 16/10, 8pm).
- Zim on track
to economic recovery: WB (The Herald, 15/10).
- Govt to
expedite rebates for tourism sector (The Herald, 11/10).
- Zim can
turn the tables (The Herald, 4/10)
Visit the MMPZ
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.