Zimbabwe’s Ruling Party Seeks Greater Government Role in Economy

President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front is proposing a plan to revive its troubled economy by increasing the role of the government and black nationals.

The plan, known as the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation, is being discussed at the Dec. 10-14 policy conference in the capital, Harare.

The “focus will be on full exploitation and value addition to the country’s own abundant resources,” according to the document.

Zanu-PF won a two-thirds parliamentary majority in July elections, ending a four-year coalition with the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change, while Mugabe extended his 33-year rule as leader of the southern African nation. The Finance Ministry has since revised its forecast for economic growth rate for the year to 3.4 percent from 5 percent.

Anglo American Platinum Ltd. and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd., the world’s two biggest producers of the metal, operate mines in Zimbabwe. The government requires foreign mine companies to give majority control of their ventures to black Zimbabweans or the government.

The conference comes after the party’s provincial chairpersons were elected last month, boosting the chances of Vice President Joice Mujuru succeeding Mugabe, 89, after her allies won nine of the 10 provinces.

Zanu-PF “may be stronger internally, but they don’t have the capacity to manage issues such as the external debt, economic problems facing the country,” Dumisani Nkomo, a political analyst and director of Bulawayo-based Habakuk Trust, said in an interview.

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