I PAGED THROUGH a local daily newspaper the other day and was I so intrigued with the article that I was reading. There are in fact people in this country who are under the impression that the Zimbabwean economy is growing.
As I progressed through the article I began to worry.
Could there be another Zimbabwean economy that perhaps I am not aware of? Earlier on during the week I was speaking to a friend who is highly-placed in one of the Zimbabwean banks. He happened to communicate the bleak news that his organisation was in the process of retrenching and that most of their perks had been cut.
This meant that essentially their total benefit was being cut by about 20%. He predicted that there would be more economic trouble going as far as 2015. I am also under the impression that it is not the only odd story.
There are in fact many companies going through the same kind of strain. Needless to say that there is the liquidity crunch that is affecting companies that are still standing. I am therefore worried where growth is being recorded. I have heard of illusions, could this be one of those?
Like any economy in the world, success is also partly measured and relies on constituent perception. My own view of the Zimbabwean economy is that it is facing a significant challenge in several key areas.
There seems to be more evidence to suggest failure rather than success. The liquidity crunch is not making it any easier. There is not much money going through the financial institution systems as money is circulating in the streets. Confidence to lure local and foreign investors is at a record low.
From a business perspective, this economic growth illusion may actually have serious ramifications on the actual growth of the economy as those who are responsible for its turnaround may sit back and think that everything is under control.
It shows that someone somewhere is not doing what they are expected to do. The economy will undoubtedly continue to slip away and it
will be clearer that economic growth is in fact, an illusion. So much for that . . .
Bulawayo was once again graced by the Zimbabwean mining sector this week at Mine-Entra. I am reliably informed that more space was taken up last year with exhibits being housed in two halls. This year all exhibits were housed in one hall. Notwithstanding that detail, it is my hope that conclusive meetings were held during the showcase and that lucrative deals which will cause the sector to thrive and the economy to grow were made.
Speaking of mining and the mining sector, at least twenty seven of our legislators visited China to “learn” how China manages its mining industry. While it is important to learn from other countries whose experiences we could draw ideas for our own sector, I do not think Zimbabwe can afford too many of these trips judging by the experience of the last trip.
I therefore, find it odd for these legislators to suggest a return trip and the country is largely unaware of the benefits of the last trip save for the embarrassment it caused brand Zimbabwe when they were left stranded in some town in China after missing the plane when they had gone on an unauthorised shopping escapade. This is the time when everyone should be concentrating on core issues.
I see the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries Congress is coming up in a few weeks. It is my sincere hope that the captains of industry will compile concrete ideas on how this economy can be resuscitated and that they lobby the government seriously on these issues.
I wonder how much of this illusional growth is attributed to Bulawayo. Sometimes the scribes have to attend to serious issues as well. Till next week, keep reading the red publication and remain Brand Savvy.