Dr. Stephen Chan, a Professor of World Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, recently made a tweet about Zimbabwe’s government’s efforts to give a sense of economic uplift before the upcoming elections. However, he notes that the hard indicators and people’s lived experience show that the country remains in decline. He also mentions that gold-based schemes are only benefiting the elite and that the perception is that they stole the gold anyway.
In response to Dr. Chan’s tweet, George Charamba, the Permanent Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services in Zimbabwe, tweeted, “So what are you going to do Chan? You are crying with a loud voice more than the bereaved.” Charamba’s tweet appears to be a dismissal of Chan’s concerns about the country’s economic situation.
It is no secret that Zimbabwe has faced significant economic challenges over the years, including hyperinflation, shortages of foreign currency and basic goods, and high unemployment rates. The country has been working to address these issues, but the results have been mixed at best. Many Zimbabweans continue to struggle to make ends meet, and there is a widespread sense of frustration and disillusionment with the government.
The gold-based schemes that Dr. Chan mentioned have been a particular point of controversy. These schemes involve the government offering incentives to individuals and companies to mine and sell gold, with the goal of boosting the country’s gold reserves and increasing foreign currency earnings. However, critics have raised concerns about the fairness and transparency of these schemes, with some alleging that they are only benefiting a select few.
Dr. Chan’s tweet highlights the discrepancy between the government’s efforts to present a positive image of the country’s economic situation and the reality on the ground. It remains to be seen how Zimbabweans will respond to these competing narratives as the country prepares for its upcoming elections.