Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Debt: The albatross around Zimbabwe’s neck

Thursday, 04 August 2011 17:36
By Deprose Muchena
IT IS common cause that the Government of National Unity (GNU) has presided over a dramatic economic turnaround, which has seen the country claw its way back from the brink of total economic collapse. It is also widely acknowledged that there are serious obstacles in the way of a sustainable economic recovery. However, it is not universally known that one of the most serious constraints — indeed it is an almighty albatross around the country’s neck — is Zimbabwe’s massive debt burden.

To appreciate the full scale of the economic crisis, it is important to note that Zimbabwe faced a myriad of socio-economic and governance challenges prior to the inauguration of the GNU. The economy had cumulatively declined by 54,8% from 1999 to 2008, resulting in one of the longest recessions in the history of any country. Prolonged international isolation since the launch of the fast track land reform programme in 2000 resulted in no meaningful engagement with the international community and development partners.
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