Fradreck Gorwe Business Reporter
The road to economic prosperity is certain if various stakeholders that include the general public work in consensus with one goal.
This sentiment was echoed throughout the May Day National Economic Dialogue Series organised by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) in collaboration with the University of Zimbabwe Economics Department to feed into National Dialogue initiatives pioneered by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The series ran under the theme “Transition from Austerity to Prosperity and Justice: Rethinking Work in Zimbabwe.”
The objective was to consolidate stakeholder views on the state of the economy with stakeholders being the academia, business, labour and informal economy.
Delivering a key note address, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Deputy Director for Economic Affairs Research, Dr Nebson Mupunga, underscored the need for universal elimination of speculative, arbitrage and rent seeking behaviour by all concerned stakeholders who should embrace fair business and pricing practices.
The country has been experiencing a wave of prices increases and wild market exchange rates, which the Government says have no economic justification as it has successfully managed to stabilise fundamental fiscal elements that fuelled inflation.
The government is looking at further cooling high inflation by targeting a gradual decrease in money supply growth to a roughly 10 percent annual expansion in the short term.
Dr Mupunga promised some light from cooperative implementation of the new monetary policy and its postulates.
The objectives include the instigation of the interbank foreign exchange market with its “willing buyer willing seller” principle meant to bring some formalisation of the foreign exchange market.
“The month on month inflation trend following the new measures is testimony that we are far away from the hyperinflationary 2008. 2019 quarterly annualised inflation declined with a decline in money supply growth since July 2018 being a clear pointer that inflation is doubtlessly going down,” explained Dr Mupunga.
Monthly inflation, also gained 2,7 percentage points, from 1,67 percent in February 2019, to 4,4 percent in March 2019. This has severely eroded consumer spending as incomes and wages have largely remained stagnant.
Also speaking at the event on behalf of the academia, Dr Carren Pindiriri, lecturer and researcher in the economics department, University of Zimbabwe, emphasised the need by policy makers to clarify issues about the very sound policies to the public so that they built confidence in supporting and implementing such policies.
He seconded the austerity for prosperity approach to economic growth maintaining that in every economic development endeavour there are obvious trade-offs that should occur. “From what we heard from Dr Mupunga we have seen that according to the current statistics from the Reserve Bank we are likely to have an improvement in inflation,” he said.