By Leopold Munhende
FINANCE Minister Mthuli Ncube reckons “a lot of Zimbabweans” are enjoying the fruits of economic developmental efforts by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.
Ncube said this at Tuesday post-Cabinet Media Briefing after presenting the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) Performance Report for the Fourth Quarter of 2022 at Cabinet.
Noting positives in the economy, he told reporters issues such as high inflation, which are being raised by some sectors were not an indication of poor administration.
“The economy is not just about inflation, it is about good roads, job creation, growth in the mining sector; it is real,” said Ncube.
“I can assure you there are a lot of citizens experiencing the use of good roads when they drive, clean water, citizens who experienced the very success of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, that is all part of the economy.
“Because we have a dual currency in Zimbabwe we cannot measure inflation on the back of one or the other currency. Inflation, the last time it was recorded had dropped down to 92% year-on-year and was actually negative -1.65%. We are in deflation.”
According to Ncube’s report, the mining sector grew by 10% in 2022, driven by higher international mineral prices, the resuscitation of closed mines, and expansion and opening of new mines.
Gold production increased from 31.5 tonnes in 2021 to 36 tonnes last year while the manufacturing sector grew to 66% from 65% in 2021.
In terms of infrastructure, about 400 kilometres of the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway was upgraded and opened to traffic.
Ncube added; “We are determined to make sure this continues to make sure the stability is felt and positive development in the real sector continues to be felt.”
The report also claims that some 77.5% of Zimbabweans now have access to clean water.
“In the water sub-sector, Government procured additional rigs and drilled 437 boreholes, surpassing the Fourth Quarter target of 240 boreholes. 77.5% households are now accessing clean and safe water.”
The Mnangagwa administration has, however, been accused of ignoring basic needs of the Zimbabwean population by opposition parties, analysts and civic society.
Water challenges have continued to bedevil nearly all urban areas in the country.
The Zambezi Water Project is yet at a stage where it could benefit southern provinces while borehole drilling programmes have been cited as reasons behind the reduction of underground water tables.