Zimbabwean government set to revise economic growth rate forecast

Professor Mthuli Ncube

THE Policy Stakeholders Dialogue (POLAD) convened a monetary indaba in Harare on Thursday to find a lasting solution to exchange rate volatility and ways to protect consumers from rising prices of goods and services.

The meeting comes as the country grapples with a number of challenges ranging from imported inflation to global tension which has seen the prices of goods and services rise sharply.

Exchange rate volatility has come under scrutiny, with the parallel market rate rising above $500 ZWL against $1 USD.

This prompted the Political Stakeholders Dialogue (POLAD) to organize a monetary indaba where government, industry and commerce as well as political parties converged to find a lasting solution.

The Chairman of POLAD’s Economic Affairs Committee, Mr. Trust Chikohora, said the indaba sought to find consensus on the challenges facing the economy.

“We had the monetary indaba to make sure everyone is on deck on the way forward as currency volatility has been a big topic. We will be presenting all of this to the president to make sure he understands what was deliberate,” he said.

Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Prof. Mthuli Ncube, who also attended the indaba, said global economic developments have had a negative impact on the country’s economy despite all fundamentals being correct .

“We will review our projected growth rate for this year. As you may know, the World Bank, IMF and AfDB have already revised growth projections. We are going to revise downwards a growth mainly driven by agriculture. Our fundamentals are correct; it’s just arbitrage by retailers.

“Dual currency is going to be with us for a very long time. Introducing the USD as the single currency will wipe out banks, wipe out corporate accounts, so we’re not going that route. The forex auction system has worked well in injecting $2.2 billion into the manufacturing sector, hence an increase in industrial capacity utilization,” he said.

The global economy is sneezing as natural gas and oil prices have risen due to global tension which is expected to slow the rate of global economic growth.

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