Zimbabwe – 28 Jan 2015

Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate is 5.42 percent, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Unemployment rates in Zimbabwe are often reported to be between 80 and 90 percent, but these rates did not take into account the vast numbers of people in informal employment.
According to a chart published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), a UN agency, on its website Zimbabwe’s real unemployment rate has hovered around five percent since 2006. An exception was when it reached 6.4 percent in 2009.
Zimbabwe’s hyperinflationary crisis peaked in late 2008 before a unity government was sworn in, in February 2009.
The numbers of those in formal employment are steadily decreasing in Zimbabwe as an economic squeeze tightens. More than 6000 people were reported officially retrenched last year. Zimbabwe has more than 230,000 civil servants.
Times Live

White Farmers to Meet Zimbabwe Government Over Land Seizures
Zimbabwe’s Commercial Farmers’ Union, which represents mainly white farmers, will meet with Lands and Resettlement Minister Douglas Mombeshora to discuss the government’s plans to evict whites still growing crops.
“We’ve managed to secure a meeting with Minister Mombeshora tomorrow to seek clarification on whether government still wants us to farm in the country,” CFU Director Hendrik Olivier said in an interview in the capital, Harare, on Tuesday. Mombeshora confirmed the planned meeting when contacted by phone.
The government on Jan. 22 gave white crop farmers 90 days to leave their land. It gave an exemption to dairy farmers and livestock breeders. About 300 white farmers remain on their properties after the often violent evictions of about 3,500 growers between 2000 and 2008.


China puts screws on Zim

The Chinese government is seeking the secondment of its officials to key Zimbabwe parastatals to ensure that Chinese loans for government projects are not lost to “leakages”, it emerged this week.
A Chinese delegation was in Zimbabwe to lay the groundwork for the implementation of economic agreements signed in August by the two countries. There are now concerns from some government officials that the Chinese government is angling for a greater stake in, and control of, Zimbabwe’s natural resources and government entities before the agreements are implemented.
Zimbabwe has so far failed to get the $27-billion it is seeking to implement its ambitious economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset), which the government sees as a panacea to the country’s economic problems.
Zimbabwe signed a number of memorandums of understanding with China during President Robert Mugabe’s visit there last year, which the government said would kick-start the implementation of ZimAsset and aid efforts to revive the economy.
China pledged to assist Zimbabwe in implementing infrastructure ¬projects in various sectors of the economy, including power generation, water, telecommunications, agriculture and mining.
China’s concerns
Mugabe went to China seeking a $4-billion rescue package, but other than the memorandums of understanding, he came back empty- handed. Most of the projects agreed to with the Chinese government have yet to take off and are subject to feasibility studies.
The Chinese have also expressed concern over the loss of revenue in the parastatals and ministries that will oversee the implementation of the deals, should the feasibility studies be successful.
“It is against that background that the Chinese want to ensure that systems are put in place to ensure that, should the deals go ahead, funds are not lost due to leakages,” said a government official, who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation. “They want their people to be attached to some of the key parastatals that will implement the deals to ensure there is no revenue loss.
“They believe their people will also help to capacitate the parastatals and ensure an enhancement of skills. Although indications are that the Chinese will have their way, there are some among us who believe the Chinese have in a way colonised us as they are taking over the economy and are now moving into parastatals.”
But Economic Planning Minister Simon Khaya Moyo told the Mail & Guardian in a phone interview on Wednesday, the visit by the Chinese delegation would be beneficial to Zimbabwe as the government tries to implement the ZimAsset turnaround plan.

Mail and Guardian