Zimbabwe finance ministry says economy to contract 6.5% this year

As worsening drought hits hydropower and crops, Zimbabwe's economy is shrinking

HARARE, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's economy is set to shrink by 6.5% this year - its first contraction in a decade - after a drought and power shortages, the finance minister said on Thursday.

Power generation could be cut at the largest hydro plant due to low water levels, minister Mthuli Ncube also said.

Ncube told lawmakers in the resort town of Victoria Falls that Zimbabwe would spend more than $300 million to import 840,000 tonnes of maize, a staple crop, after the drought left more than half the population in need of food aid.