Zimbabwe is facing a huge economic crisis that is worsening living standards by the day and a decline in industrial growth. Unemployment is now one of the highest in the world, running at 50% against an annual population growth of 3%, mainly because of inadequate sustainable job creation activities in the market.
The rampant unemployment has given rise to the worsening abject poverty, rising crime levels, falling quality of life and standards of living, as well as general delinquency. Close to 65% of the population is considered poor according to the latest poverty assessment. The country is facing near bankruptcy. The problem is Government's huge borrowings where much of the money is used for recurrent expenditures to meet the day to day running of Ministries. Very little is for capital investments.
Since the attainment of independence in 1980, Zimbabwe has produced a number of Annual Budgets that were supposedly implemented together with the national economic plans such as the following: Zimbabwe Conference on Reconstruction and Development (ZIMCORD), On the Road to Socialism, Transitional National Development Plan (TNDP) that came in volumes I and II; Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP) 1991-1995, Zimbabwe Programme on Economic and Social Transformation (ZIMPREST) 1998-2000, Millennium Economic Recovery Programme (MERP) 2000-2002, Ten Point Plan and more recently the National Economic Revival Programme (NERP) February 2003.
The focus of all these policies was to bring about economic development and improved quality of life for Zimbabweans. Regrettably, none of these economic policy documents together with the accompanying annual budgets have succeeded in producing real positive tangible results especially in the area of poverty reduction. A number of factors account for this hence the rampant poverty that has rocked the country today.
An analysis of the various economic recovery and reform programmes is done summarily done below with...