Mugabe blames aides for economic woes

iolafr zim pres mugabe AFP President Robert Mugabe. File picture: Mujahid Safodien/AFP

Harare - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has blamed his aides for the country's economic failure, describing them as “slow”.

“We have managed to sustain our economy but we have inbuilt resistance within the system. We have some people who do not think the same way we do. They have different ideas and do not take the same stance as yourself. They are slow or they think our policies are not the correct ones and are not happy,” Mugabe said in an interview to mark his 92nd birthday which was broadcast on national television on Thursday night.

Mugabe said corruption had also played a big role in the collapse of the country's economy, adding the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Commission would help eradicate the scourge which had reached unprecedented levels.

“You have also some level of corruption both in the private and public sectors. We are looking at how we can rid that corruption and we recently established the Anti-Corruption Commission which we hope will help us to eradicate or reduce corruption taking place in the country,” he said.

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Mugabe also blamed the sanctions imposed on the country, especially by the United States, saying they made trading with other countries difficulty.

“You have to trade these products and trade has got to be facilitated. It is in the facilitation of trade and securing of investment and the necessary earnings from your exports that we face a huge problem. We don't have our own currency, we use the American currency. When we import, for example, vehicles, be it from America, South Africa, Brazil, and we want to pay for them, it's the American dollar we use.

“Questions are asked when the money gets to New York, where it is from. And if it is from Zimbabwe, it is a no. Similarly, if payments are to be made to us, and if these are payments to Zimbabwe, America says no. All the payments must be made through their own banking system, whether they are for imports or exports, the same route,” he said.

The veteran politician, who has ruled Zimbabwe since it attained independence in 1980, also admitted that uncertainty over the country's indigenisation law was also stifling investment in the country.

Read also: Gem smuggling cost us $13bn - Mugabe

“We were trying to explain this to them that if it is our resources that we do business with, that ownership must be recognised. If we must get them off the ground and you are prepared to partner with us, from our total ownership of this commodity, which is an indigenous one, we are prepared to reward you for your task to the extent of 49 percent.

“But where it's your own resource that you are bringing into our environment, say you have your own oil, we don't have oil here, you want to process it locally, we don't apply our law, to that extent as we do as the resource are our own. We leave it to negotiation,” he said.


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