Local economic commentators have accused the Government of using the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a scapegoat for its failure to manage the country’s ailing economy.
Zimbabwe is experiencing three-digit inflation now close to 200% year on year, with prices of basic foodstuffs especially cooking oil, mealie-meal and bread now out of the reach of many.
On Monday, Women’s Affairs, Small and Medium Enterprises minister Sithembiso Nyoni told delegates at the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) day in Harare that “some of the things that are happening are really not our fault”.
However, Vince Musewe, an economist, said while the Ukraine-Russian war has contributed to price increases across the globe, the Government is being dishonest by trying to blame the war for all the country’s woes. Said Musewe:
Politicians always want to find scapegoats but in Zimbabwe, we have other issues that have caused the economy not to perform well.
The issue of RTGS-US$ rates has caused inflation in Zimbabwe. Yes, we know that Russia and Ukraine are major exporters of wheat.
Russia is also a major producer of oil. This is bound to cause disruption in the world market but to blame that as the major reason for our economic problems is not being honest.
Analyst Farai Gwenhure argued that Zimbabwe’s economy was in crisis long before Russia invaded its neighbour. Said Gwenhure:
When the government talks about how the war has caused suffering in Zimbabwe, one tends to think that the country was performing very well and developing at a supersonic speed before the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The truth is the war is affecting the country because the economy was already been in the doldrums.
It’s like a chronic patient getting coronavirus. The result can be devastating.