Why local Economists Get It Wrong!
In any country, Economists are highly regarded individuals whose economic view points and insights are easily acceptable to those who have a vested interest in the goings-on in the economy. It is unfortunate that the vast majority of the African population never affords itself adequate time to understand their respective economies because of sheer ignorance.
Every individual should always have a desire to understand and comprehend the daily economic issues within their respective countries. It doesn’t matter that your country is in disarray, make it your prerogative to understand the economy of your country, no matter your daily frustrations. Economics is bread and butter for everyone, irrespective of your current state of affairs.
Even Strive Masiyiwa who is revered by a sizable chunk of the Zimbabwe population, believes that Economists are an endangered species in Africa even more that technologists, that is if I am making the correct interpretation of a post he once made on his Facebook page.
If an entrepreneur of the stature of Dr Strive Masiyiwa believes in the skills of Economists, who is Honourable Temba Mliswa to question them. Once again this is based on a contribution whose authenticity I couldn’t verify. The good part of being a commentator is that you work based on your personal opinion.
Nevertheless, Honourable Temba Mliswa in his right frame of mind is correct in questioning the relevance of the Economists’ reports with regards to the Zimbabwe economic situation. Economists are simply offering us academic viewpoints and no tangible solutions that can get our country working again.
So that we are all in the clear, let me state that I just know the name Temba Mliswa and haven’t met the man in person. We have so many economic blueprints in this country that I don’t care to remember, and none of them have been fully implemented so that we can judge whether they produced the desired outcomes and effects.
Moreover, I greatly appreciate Economists and their viewpoints. I remember always attending events organized by the Zimbabwe Economic Society, and not just marvelling at the eloquence of Economists on economic issues, rather appreciating the well-researched detail in their presentations. I would have an undesirable short memory if I can forget John Robertson educating us on the importance of property rights in any economy.
Property rights remain relevant to this day and the Honourable MP even spent some time in his contribution highlighting their importance. However, reports without relevant and meaningful practical solutions don’t serve the purpose they are intended to. I will have to give the Economists the benefit of doubts that maybe their solutions are falling on deaf ears just like the Honourable MP claimed that it’s on record that Parliament is doing its duty and the Executive and Presidium is hindering that.
Be that as it maybe, this economy has gone beyond what can be termed academic solutions; pardon me for a lack of a better phrase, to needing knee jerk solutions. Solutions not easily provided by academic textbooks. When an elected Member of Parliament believes that small time informal trading is job creation, then we are all doomed.
Small time informal trading is survival mode and not job creation, and that should be beyond dispute. Zimbabwe’s economy has been in survival mode for a long time now, and it is appalling when an elected MP is on wax claiming that the economy is performing greatly because everywhere you turn there is an informal trader.
We might not all be economists, however, most of us can tell a functional economy from a dysfunctional one. The MP’s claims defy common sense, and makes the most hated President in the history of the free world Donald Trump appear like a saint.
Faced with this reality, it makes all these economic reports null and void in their relevance to present day Zimbabwe. We should all be grateful to the Economists; nevertheless, their relevance in Zimbabwe at the current moment is overstated. Let me state that their skills are obsolete as things stand in our country and their services are of better use elsewhere.
As an afterthought, how does one come up with the metrics and projections in a country without an economy to talk about? It simply makes the whole process a hoax. In another decade or time frame, their skills will be greatly appreciated and not just now. In this country, with this crippled economy, it is time they accept that they are just not relevant.
When a country has a Central bank and doesn’t have its own currency, it defies logic to stand in front of us and lecture us about economics. How do you determine monetary policy when you can’t even print your own national currency? You can hoodwink a few into believing your importance, nonetheless, most of us know that you just a dinosaur in the room.
It is difficult to understand how a country can implement the monetary policy instruments which can spur positive economic growth without its own currency. Sitting on my vantage point, I shake my head heavily trying to make sense of it all. Our Reserve Bank Governor has just become a ceremonial individual, and the Monetary Policy Committee shocks me in what exactly they sit to discuss.
It is unfortunate and a pity that Economics Professors and lecturers are committing their precious time to impart their knowledge to graduates of a profession that has no relevance in present day Zimbabwe. This is no way meant to discourage any prospective Economists chasing after their dream; it is just a discouraging reality of our current state of affairs. As of now, the prospects for Economists are grim in the short-term; nonetheless, they could improve in the medium to long term.
Lastly, Honourable Temba Mliswa was within his right to question the relevance of Economists’ reports in modern day Zimbabwe. Logic dictates that as much as the reports are good reading, they don’t have any relevance. In reality, they are just good for providing the feelings you got from reading your favorable childhood novels, which were merely for entertainment’s sake.