Zimbabwe‘s 93-year-old president, Robert Mugabe, sat slumped in his chair, wringing his hands, as he told a panel discussion on Thursday in a low murmur that his country was not a “fragile state”.
Mugabe’s government is struggling with a debt crisis, a fall in foreign exchange inflows, and acute shortages of cash that have forced banks to limit withdrawals, as well as growing resistance to his three-decade rule.
But he told a panel discussion on “fragile countries” at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Durban, South Africa that Zimbabwe‘s economy was on the mend.
Critics have accused Mugabe of wrecking one of Africa’s most promising economies and causing unemployment of currently around 80 percent through policies such as violent seizures of white-owned commercial farms and money printing.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said last week that Zimbabwe had met all conditions to clear arrears to the World Bank and African Development Bank, paving the way for possible funding from the International Monetary Fund, which last lent Zimbabwe money in 1999.