Posted on Wednesday, 05 June 2013 13:36

Zimbabwe: Political uncertainty slows fast growth

Zimbabwe's business sector says political uncertainty and policy inconsistencies are affecting the economy, whose growth has slowed down in recent years.


The southern African country's economy grew rapidly in 2010 and there were hopes that the rise will continue, but for the past two years political leaders have been squabbling on when elections should be held.

Elections in Zimbabwe are often violent and investors have reportedly taken a "wait-and-see" approach.

Business leaders said Zimbabwe "cannot be a nation of elections and electioneering year in year out".

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president Oswell Binha said elections should be held in order to get rid of the wait-and-see overhang that has affected investment.

"We expect this process to proceed to deal with electioneering uncertainty," he said.

"I am sure all stakeholders want finalisation of this monster."

Binha conceded that there was some level of stability and peace, which were key to economic growth, but any semblance of destabilisation will work against the country's ability to attract foreign investments.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Kumbirai Katsande agreed with Binha, but advised caution.

"The constitutional court's ruling is part of the story that will bring this certainty. It is, however, not yet time to pop champagne because we are still on the journey to the elections," he said.

"It is after the elections that we will be able to make an assessment of what would have transpired before, during and after the elections."

The country's constitutional court recently ordered President Robert Mugabe to set an election date and these should be held by July 30.

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