Featured - Opinion - November 22, 2020

Zimbabwe’s new economic blueprint National Development Strategy looks promising

THE National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1)which President Mnangagwa launched on Monday has the hallmarks of a plan which can leapfrog the country over the ground it lost during the many years that it was pursuing bad economic policies.

The NDS1 succeeds the Transitional Stabilization Program which has halted the economic downturn which the country was going through and brought some measures of stability.

When he took over power in 2017, President Mnangagwa vowed to take a different path from his predecessor and declared that the country was open for business.

The economic reforms that his government introduced however created some shocks which caused suffering among the people who started complaining that the situation had gone from bad to worse.

The opposition seized the opportunity to vilify the government and accuse it of failing to govern. It criticized all the policies which the government introduced to deal with the situation and incited citizens to revolt. The linking of his name to corruption scandals that were being reported further alienated him from the people who accused him of being greedy and insensitive to their plight.

President Mnangagwa had to rope in the military to maintain law and order while his government continued with its efforts to turn around the economy. As a result, the three years that he has been in power have been characterized by opposition protests and strikes by civil servants demanding better pay.

The advent of Covid-19 and its attendant lockdowns worsened the situation as the government had to dig deep into its bag of tricks to avert a national disaster. One such trick was the foreign currency auction system which ended the madness in the market and brought stability of prices and the local currency.

The NDS1  is therefore expected to ride on the successes that the TSP registered and continue to soar the kite to the sky. With the TSP having laid the critical building blocks, the NDS1 should see the country leapfrog the many years that it was in the doldrums due to the policies which the previous government was pursuing which saw it slapped with punitive sanctions.

The NDS1 is the successor to the TSP and is the first 5-year Medium Term Plan aimed at realising the country’s Vision 2030.

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