Business has called for peace and stability in the country, describing these as a prerequisite for economic growth.
The call by business comes in the wake of MDC-T and ZimPF-instigated violent protests over the past few weeks that saw demonstrators destroying property and looting shops in Harare in an attempt to bring Zimbabwe to a standstill.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Mr Busisa Moyo yesterday said the country stood to benefit more from peace than demonstrations.
“The country has been plagued with intermittent incidents of riots, street protests and public marches, some of which have invariably turned violent and disrupted life in general, including social tranquillity and business operations,” said Mr Moyo.
“Given the long-term and permanent adverse effects of these activities on progress, life for ordinary Zimbabweans and business operations, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries would like to call for a concerted effort to maintain peace and tranquillity to quell an already tense social environment and, arrest a fragile economic position.
“Maintaining peace and tranquillity will allow the country to find lasting social and economic solutions and therefore bring social stability and allow the country to focus on rebuilding and kick-starting the economy in a conducive and enhancing atmosphere.”
Mr Moyo said in spite of all the challenges the country had faced, the peace dividend remained a key asset to economic revival, stability and growth.
He said they believed that inclusive, constructive, open and frank dialogue was a key factor to alleviating the current strife and preserve peace.
“We went to TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development) in Nairobi, Kenya a fortnight ago as ZNNC representing the private sector and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emphasised the need for peace,” said Mr Mugaga.
“As you may be aware, Japan has pledged $30 billion to African countries. So who would want to miss on that money because of protests?
“Naturally as business, we give precedence to peace and tranquillity. Capital is a coward. It will not stay where there is no peace. So it is important that there is peace and tranquillity in the country. Besides, no political settlement can ever be reached through the streets.”
Mr Mugaga pleaded with political players to play their role to ensure there was peace in the country.
Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ) senior vice president Mr Callisto Jokonya, said political instability created uncertainty that was not good for business and the economy.
“We don’t want these stay aways, demonstrations and violence. People of credible leadership from both ends must sit down and find a way of resolving their differences for the good of the nation.
“That will send a good signal inside and outside the country. There is no need for violent demonstrations and telling each other off.
“As employers, we feel this noise creates uncertainty, which we don’t want,” said Mr Jokonya.
Zimbabwe Clothing Manufacturers Association (ZCMA) chairperson, Mr Jeremy Youmans added that peace and tranquillity were important not only for foreign investors but their customers as well.
He said political instability may result in importers of Zimbabwean products moving to alternative suppliers for fear of not getting the goods they want from Zimbabwe.
The opposition parties are carrying out endless protests, raising endless demands in their desperate attempt to effect illegal regime change. Herald