BULAWAYO — Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said on Sunday only his opposition Movement for Democratic Change can save the economy from “total demise” and grow it by 10 percent a year for 30 years.
The “vision is to create a $100 billion (68-billion-euro) economy in the next 30 years,” Tsvangirai told an MDC congress that confirmed his re-election as party leader late Saturday.
“It is only an MDC government that has capacity and support to grow this economy by about 10 percent every year. Only an MDC government, which I am proud to lead, has the capacity to redeem this economy from total demise.”
The southern African country suffered a decade of runaway prices amid hyperinflation. The economy stabilised after the government abandoned the worthless local currency in 2009, allowing trade in US dollars and other major foreign currencies.
Zimbabwe’s economy has showed signs of recovery since President Robert Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed a power-sharing government in 2009 to end deadly political violence sparked by their presidential run-off election in 2008.
But uncertainty over new elections tipped for this year has scared off new investors, who also worry about Mugabe’s threats to take over foreign firms.
Although no dates have been set for the polls, Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party have said elections should be held this year, while Tsvangirai and his MDC party want reforms to ensure a level playing field first.
Tsvangirai said an annual growth rate of ten percent would attract investors.
“If we grow the economy by that margin every year, we will be creating jobs for our young people in the process. We will begin to see investment in mining, infrastructure development, agriculture, health, education, in the hospitality industry and all other sectors,” he told the congress.
Tsvangirai thanked regional leaders for their support in efforts to stabilise Zimbabwe and expressed the hope that southern African and continental blocs “will continue to support our efforts to reject attempts to manipulate the will of the people”. AFP