Zimbabwe President predicts over 3% GDP growth in 2020 first quarter

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has projected a plus 3 percent growth in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first three months of 2020, adding that the country has not registered any growth this year.

He said this while launching the Mutare Urban Renewal project at Sakubva stadium last Wednesday.

The project is being spearheaded by City of Mutare and the Local Government Ministry with the support of local financial institution BancABC.

“This year we are at -6% of the GDP, meaning we don’t have any growth. We are down but next year by March to April, we will be at +3% because of the sound policies we have put in place,” said Mnangagwa while admitting the policies he was banking on will have their fair share of challenges.

He said the country had to take painful decision on the its road to recovery, adding “it’s passing phase, people shall enjoy”.

President Mnangagwa said no success will be attained in the economy without people enduring pain and hardship.

“We have to tighten our belts and I am happy that the worst is over. The most difficult period is now behind us. Things are going to improve,” he said.

Mnangagwa said his government’s unpopular austerity measures were introduced to address economic challenges.

“Way back our budget, our expenditure was far more than revenue.

“For a country to develop, it must use the available resources. You cannot spend what you don’t have.

“You have to first kill an animal first then you can cook it and eat. You can’t eat a live animal. We introduced some measures to address our economic challenges using locally available resources until we have those who can assist us,” the President said, adding that foreign investors were beginning to trickle into the country because of the macroeconomic interventions his government has since introduced.

“Investors are now coming in the country because the macro-economic fundamentals are now in place. Countries like China, India and Russia stood with us through our difficult situations and today they are still with us,” Mnangagwa said.

He said since the introduction of austerity measures, the country has been able to narrow its budget deficit.

“From March and May this year, we started getting a surplus on a monthly basis on our budget.

“On this year`s (2019-2020) budget, we removed the austerity measures.

“When we moved from multi-currency to mono currency, it’s a transition from a situation of a collapsed economy to a functional economy,” said Mnangagwa.