Zimbabweans worried over slump in economy in 2024 as El-Nino set to devastate agricultural sector

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Many Zimbabweans say the ripple effects of the drought will be felt in their pockets as the El Nino phenomenon is expected to hit the agricultural sector, which is one of the key levers of the southern African nation’s economy. Economic commentator Rejoice Ngwenya of the Common Market for Liberal Solutions says Zimbabweans will suffer next year as there is no solution in sight of fixing the economy.

“There is an English saying that only a fool can do the same thing all over again and expert different results. Now this is what I see of the Zimbabwe economy in 2024. ED Mnangagwa government has been trouncing the same old path, the same old policies with the same old game, with the same old players over and over again. The government that lacks depth and creativity there is absolutely nothing which Zimbabweans can expect in 2024 because like I said there is nothing that shows that this government has an interest in creating anything new.”

Freedom Alliance secretary general Nhlanhla Moses Ncube concurs, adding that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government lacks vision to transform the country’s economy, which according to the World Bank was the fastest growing economy in southern Africa since 2021.

“I think 2024 will not be a better year than any other considering that the 2023 elections were contested for not being free, fair and credible and also looking at the flawed (national) budget which took us back to the Ian Smith colonial regime where there was a hut tax if you remember. And then we also have a cabinet that is composed of recycled dead wood, a cabinet of Zanu PF people that have been there some of them since 1980.”

But Zanu PF activist Xavier Zvavare based in the United Kingdom says the Zimbabwe economy won’t tank to the extent of erasing gains made in the past three years.

“We are looking towards an interesting year for the ordinary people and ofcourse as Zanu PF we are optimistic that measures which the minister of finance intends to implement will help stabilize the economy and not only to stabilize but propel it to greater heights. We are aware of the concerns of most of our supporters and the general populace in Zimbabwe regarding the economy and ofcourse we are also praying because we are an agro-based economy that we have enough rains that our dams that we have constructed in the second republic as you are aware will have enough water so that we can have enough irrigation, enough farming activities to keep the economy going.”

For Anglistone Sibanda, director of Afrique Technologies, business executives should plan properly in order to survive in 2024.

“Whats important as an entreprenuer is to be able to identify opportunities in the midst of the challenges that we are facing, in the midst of adversity, which is what I would encourage fellow entreprenuers to do. Yes, the World Bank has predicted positive economic growth on Zimbabwe but the challenges are still there. We have challenges around liquidity, we have challenges around access to capital, challenges around the exchange rate. But what’s important is to be able to forecast for the future.”

In its recent Zimbabwe Economic Review Update, the World Bank predicted a slump in the economy in 2024 after noting that economic activity accelerated in the country in the last few years, despite global challenges. The mining sector is expected to experience a 7% growth next in 2023, down from 8% in 2022 due to rising costs and chronic electricity shortages.