President Robert Mugabe yesterday declared he will stick to his policies that have alienated the country from the rest of the world and triggered an unprecedented economic downfall, rather than accept foreign aid with strings attached.
Addressing mourners at the burial of Brigadier-General Felix Muchemwa at the National Heroes Acre, Mugabe said it was better for the economy to continue taking a battering than be forced to change policies by Britain and America in exchange for aid.
“Some will say your policies are blocking funding. Americans and British might want to pour lots of funds into the country if we don’t have policies like indigenisation and empowerment. Nonsense,” he thundered.
“If we are going to suffer and be denied resources by outsiders, them demanding that they should do as they like in our country, we say no, keep your resources. Our land, which we have died for, [and] suffered for, is greater, much greater than your resources. Your resources will come and go, but my land will be there.”
The President’s latest position is, however, at variance with some reformists within his ruling Zanu PF party and other opposition parties, who are advocating for the country re-engaging with developed nations.
Some of his critics have blamed policies such as the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act, land reform and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Debt Assumption Act for scaring away investors and poking holes into the already fragile economy.
Mugabe’s remarks came as tension is mounting among citizens grappling with food and cash shortages, while opposition parties have resorted to mass demonstrations to force the Zanu PF government to deliver on its election promises or step down.
It also came as restive civil servants were sitting on edge after Treasury moved their June pay dates to next month, as the economy continues to shrink.
Last week, Secretary for Finance Willard Manungo said the government will pay some June salaries next month.
Zimbabwe is also going through a liquidity crisis that has seen central bank governor John Mangudya proposing to introduce bond notes in October as a stop-gap measure.
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