A Zimbabwean pastor who became the figurehead of recent demonstrations against President Robert Mugabe’s government said on Thursday he was travelling to the US to meet compatriots there and consider his next move.
Evan Mawarire, founder of a protest campaign dubbed “ThisFlag”, was detained last month for allegedly trying to overthrow the state, but a court dropped charges against him.
After his release he travelled to neighbouring South Africa, where he has been living and meeting with fellow Zimbabweans until leaving for the US.
ZIMBABWE, whose economy has halved since 2000, said it will boost output growth to almost 10% next year through agriculture and manufacturing, and by giving more people access to banking services.
The government is targeting an average annual growth rate of 6.6% between now and 2018, according to a document given to Bloomberg by the Finance Ministry. The economy is projected to expand by 9.5% in 2017 and 8.9% 2018, according to the document.
The sub-Saharan African nation needs to repay $1.8bn of debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the African Development Bank to be able to resume borrowing as it seeks to revive an economy that the IMF projects will expand by 1.4% this year. Zimbabwe, which has been led by President Robert Mugabe since 1980, is currently experiencing a liquidity crisis that has led to limits on daily cash withdrawals and resulted in civil servants being paid late last month.
President Robert Mugabe’s government has not yet indicated how it will fix the ailing economy despite calls by Zimbabweans for it to address serious social and economic problems bedevilling the southern African nation.
The government has been moving around the world with a begging bowl looking for lines of credit to repay its ballooning external debt of about 9 billion dollars, to build a new building for legislators and embark on housing projects for Zanu PF activists.
Activists on the other hand, are demanding that President Robert Mugabe should step down for allegedly failing to run the country. The activists like Tajamuka-Sesijikile Campaign, #thisgown and Pastor Evan Mawarire’s #thisflag campaign want the ruling party to create jobs and a conducive environment for prosperity.
Voice of America