A United States (US) economist, Steve Hanke, has cast a dark cloud over the possibility of the President Mnangagwa-led government rehabilitating Zimbabwe’s infrastructure saying the efforts will be frustrated by corruption.
The US economist made the remarks immediately after the government had declared all roads in Zimbabwe a state of disaster to enable resources to be mobilized for rehabilitation.
The government describes the roads as death traps, probably the best way to describe them after Chimanimani highway, known as the Skyline, collapsed as a vehicle was passing, killing the motorist.
Infrastructure development is one of the key result areas for the incumbent government which aims to elevate the country to a middle-income economy by 2030.
Commenting on the government’s declaration that all roads are a state of disaster, Steve Hanke said:
It’s hard to improve #Zimbabwe’s infrastructure when $1.8B/yr is lost to #corruption (@anticorruption). Now Zim roads are officially in “a state of disaster.” This explains why the @wef ranks Zim’s infrastructure as a pathetic 129th of 141 countries.
Zimbabwe has for years been ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world.
When President Mnangagwa ascended to power in 2017, recognising the severity of the rot, vowed to tackle corruption “head-on.”
Some observers, however, believe that despite setting up anti-corruption units such as the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), the president has so far been less enthusiastic in addressing corruption.
Some actually accuse him and his administration of targeting his political enemies who are then exhibited as evidence of the regime’s seriousness in fighting corruption.
Zimbabwe has been urged to implement the much-needed reforms to refocus the nation on a growth path.
The international community also has stated that genuine reforms are a requisite for engagement and re-engagement.