Mthuli Ncube: fixing Mugabe’s mess
It’s a year since Mthuli Ncube took the reins as finance minister of Zimbabwe. His attempts to fix the struggling economy have, it seems, produced something of a mixed bag
Mthuli Ncube may not have realised quite what he was letting himself in for when he took the job of Zimbabwe’s finance minister in September last year. With his impeccable CV — he is a former chief economist and vice-president of the African Development Bank, and lecturer at the London School of Economics and Wits Business School in Joburg — he was hailed as the right man to fix the economy. But a year on, things are far from rosy.
"[Ncube] didn’t realise how much damage Robert Mugabe had done," says economist John Robertson. "He thought he could fix in a year the damage done in 37 years by Zanu-PF. That is not possible. The destruction of agricultural output and the collapse of many manufacturing companies are going to take years to fix."