Zimbabwe‘s vice-president, Kembo Mohadi, believes that the UK is to blame for his country’s economic woes because as colonizers, the Europeans did not teach Zimbabweans how to run the economy.
“We got our independence but the white man never gave us knowledge on how to run our economy,” Mohadi reportedly told his audience. “That was it, nothing more than that,” he added.
Zimbabwe’s economic woes
Zimbabwe gained independence from the UK in 1980. Despite initial promise which led to the country being nicknamed the “bread basket of Africa”, the period since the early 2000s have seen dramatic decline.
This decline was a combination of factors including the US and European Union (EU) sanctions as a result of former president Robert Mugabe‘s stance against Zimbabwe’s white minority farmers owning a significant amount of the country’s arable lands.
The EU sanctions consist of an arms embargo and targeted asset freezes and travel bans, while the US has imposed financial restrictions and travel sanctions against selected individuals and entities.
Other aspects of the management of the economy also came for criticism by independent international experts. The country was hit with hyperinflation for over four years and at its peak, saw an 89.7 sextillion% year-on-year in mid-November 2008.
But in recent times, the country has seen a massive amount of investment from China. At the beginning of this year, China accused Western powers of waging an economic “cold war” against Zimbabwe.