Wednesday 24 August 2022


PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday threw down the gauntlet, accusing Zimbabwe’s private sector of failing to confront government over its shortcomings.

This was after members of the private sector and delegates attending the inaugural Zimbabwe Annual Investor Forum in Harare failed to ask questions after his address.

The event was hosted by Alpha Media Holdings (AMH)’s Zimbabwe Independent newspaper in partnership with PiggyBankAdvisor.

Mnangagwa then put the challenge to the delegates to point out his government’s shortcomings.

“I want to know as a government, what the private sector thinks we are not doing correctly (as a government),” Mnangagwa asked, while insisting that government was on course with robust, responsive investment and trade strategies to revive the country’s economy.

“Our cross-cutting reforms have to date enhanced the investment environment and have seen greater participation of the private sector,” he said.

“Additionally, economic management is continually being strengthened while better public financial management and performance of State-owned enterprises is vigorously being pursued. This forum is, therefore, pivotal and timeous as it interrogates various ways to scale up sustainable long-term financing and investment.”

Mnangagwa said his government’s “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra had primed the country for both foreign and domestic investment.

“I am aware that if you look at the developed and now developed countries like China and the BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] countries, it is not only foreign direct investment that has made them developed, but it is also domestic investment.

“By domestic investment, we don’t mean we should find among our citizens, people with loads of money. We must have systems that make sure that the little we have is used for projects for development.

“I would like to assure you that your investments into our economy are secure, that the operating environment is stable and that you are supported by policy, certainty and regulatory safeguards in this economy,” he told the conference.

Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe continued to grow despite attacks from its detractors.

“Beyond the negative rhetoric and the reality of the economic sanctions, the facts supersede and speak louder than the falsehoods peddled by our country’s detractors. Zimbabwe has a vast untapped potential and investors stand to gain much more by choosing to invest in our great country of Zimbabwe.

“Our abundant mineral resource base, which is largely unexplored and unexploited, makes us one of the most viable environments for investment worldwide,” he said .

The President hailed AMH for providing platforms that promote dialogue for Zimbabwe’s economic development.

“The creation of such forums is commendable. It demonstrates the group’s commitment to promote Zimbabwe as an investment destination. This will also help foster partnerships from other more developed countries within the community of nations,” he added.

PiggyBankAdvisor’s Batanai Matsika queried government policy inconsistency.

“In terms of policy as a government, there have been a lot of changes that have led to a lot of instability in terms of how businesses can actually plan and focus on the future. In terms of the policy environment, we need to smoothen it out,” Matsika said.

AMH group chief executive Kenias Mafukidze pledged the company’s commitment to work with government in building the country.

“It is in our interest to support the great vision you (Mnangagwa) have given us and your coming to join the private sector and government entities here is a sign of leadership and unity which we commend,” he said.

“We destroy or build our country together  and we will be there as media to hold the mirror against all of us and I know that we as media sometimes are not popular and, in some instances, people tend to destroy the mirror when they do not like the image. But what I hope is that we tell each other the truth so that we build each other.”

The investor forum was attended by Foreign Affairs and International Trade minister Frederick Shava, captains of industry and investors from several sectors of the Zimbabwean economy. Newsday




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