- Published: 22 December 2014
- Written by Herald
Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Government will early next year pronounce new business policies aimed at relaxing indigenisation laws and promoting Foreign Direct Investment. Cde Mnangagwa told businesspeople who paid him a courtesy call at his farm in Kwekwe at the weekend that Government would also get rid of bureaucratic regulations that inconvenienced prospective investors.
A group of South African-based businessmen and investors has reportedly praised Acting President Mnangagwa and his team for working towards healing relations between Zimbabwe and potential foreign investors. The group, whose head is Mr Tatenda Makonese (PICTURED WITH VP Mnangagwa), a director of South Africa's Sandton Rand Holdings is said to have begun mobilising both Zimbabweans based in South Africa and South Africans who are willing to invest in Zimbabwe.
Other companies and international franchises such as Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), whose Zimbabwean owner is also a prominent businessman in South Africa, have already returned to the country as Zimbabwe. More and more multinational companies would find themselves into the country next year, according to Makonese, as Acting President Mnangagwa has proved to be a business-oriented leader.
Meanwhile, several captains of industry that included Zesa group chief executive Engineer Josh Chifamba, Affirmative Action Group acting chief executive Dr Davison Gomo, Lasch co-director Mr Nelson Mahupete and Zimbabwe Power Company managing director Engineer Noah Gwariro, were among the top business executives that attended the highly subscribed meeting.
The businesspeople took the opportunity to present challenges confronting the national economy and proposed plausible remedies to some of the problems.
Cde Mnangagwa said it was important to deal urgently with issues affecting business to put the economy back on the rails.
"Next year when both industry and commerce come back to work, we should be pronouncing new policies more biased towards relaxation. That is what I can say at this stage. In the budget statement Finance and Economic Development Minister (Patrick) Chinamasa said he was going to re-examine the issue of indigenisation. I do not know what is going to come out of that revisit, but we believe it is to make investors more comfortable and make investment easy. The question of investors coming here and spend six months consulting is not good. We also need to find out sector by sector how fast we can structure consultation procedures in those areas," he said.
Cde Mnangagwa said in other countries investment formalities took less than a month. In this regard, Cde Mnangagwa said Government would make efforts to simplify and expedite investment formalities.
"If an investor comes here anonzi enda unoona Minister of Justice obvako oenda kunoona Minister of Tourism, obvako onoona Minister of Water obvako onzi enda unoona (Kembo) Mohadi zvonzi Mohadi haapo aenda kuBeitbridge ozobvako oenda kunoona (Walter) Chidhakwa (Mines and Mining Development Minister). All those things should be a thing of the past," he said.
Cde Mnangagwa said the sanctions that constrained the economy were largely removed and the Bretton Woods institutions were slowly appreciating the new environment in the country.
"We believe that by this time next year we would have secured more lines of credit," he said.
Cde Mnangagwa also assured the banking sector that it would soon enjoy relaxed lending as relations between Zimbabwe and the international community continued to normalise.
President of the Brentwood Institute of Gemology and chief executive of the Zimbabwe Diamond Processing Centre Mr Bernard Mutanga, said the diamond sector was failing to access enough diamonds to train local people in cutting and polishing.
He said they ended up importing Zimbabwean diamonds sold to South Africa for training purposes.
"The diamond industry can grow the economy and turn around things faster. Statistics show that when India started to buy diamonds from Zimbabwe they created 60 000 jobs and they employ over 60 million people in the diamond industry but they do not have a single diamond mine," he said.
Eng Gwariro of ZPC presented a paper on the challenges they were facing. Organisers of the meeting Mr Regis Maburutse and Mr Tonderai Chidawa, said it was important for the business community to have direct access to the country’s leadership.
Mr Maburutse said: "We believe our Vice President is open to meet our business people and I think interaction is the robust background to move our country forward. We are going to arrange more meeting of this nature so that our business community have direct link with the country’s leadership."
Mr Chidawa urged Zimbabweans to put their differences aside and work towards fixing the economy. He said Zimbabwe was endowed with vast natural resources that could easily turn around the country’s economic fortunes.