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'Zim leaders void of economic vision’

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GWERU — Zimbabwe has vast potential for economic growth but the current crop of political leaders is void of a national economic vision, prominent businessman and TA Holdings executive chairperson, Shingi Mutasa has said.
Addressing delegates to the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) annual congress in Gweru last week, Mutasa said the country had a first class human resource base and was blessed with invaluable natural resources but political leaders lacked a clear national fiscal framework to turnaround the economy.
Mutasa co-owns one of Zimbabwe’s biggest commercial buildings, Joina Centre, in central Harare, through a local pension fund.
He said unlike their forefathers whose clear vision for the political liberation of this country was successfully executed, the present leadership got “consumed” in that political liberation and engaged in “endless economic debates and plans” which yielded nothing.
“Despite the economic problems we faced for the last decade or so, I am optimistic that our country could have realised vast economic growth” Mutasa said, adding: “The country has first class human capital.
“We see it in the civil service, in industry and education.”
He said Zimbabwe’s only serious challenge was a political leadership that was not clear on the economic vision of this country and had no idea where the country was heading economically.
“Our forefathers had a precise vision to politically liberate this country and they achieved that but we have a crop of political leaders who engage in endless economic debates and plans without a clear national economic vision,” said Mutasa.
Mutasa said political leaders could not use such perceived bad laws like indigenisation as an excuse for failing to revive the economy.
There were other countries that had the same laws and others with worse images yet they could still attract capital.
“There is no reason Zimbabwe should mourn about tainted image when it comes to luring investment capital. We have countries in South America like Colombia with a history of drug smuggling and peddling, yet for some reason they managed to convince investors that if they put their capital there, it’s safe and they would reap rewards.”
He also gave the example of South Africa where the indigenisation programme in that country had not caused as much hue and cry as was the case in Zimbabwe.
“In South Africa the indigenisation drive, BEE, whether one views it as good, bad or average, got underway because government committed resources to it.
“We should begin to ask ourselves: ‘What is it we are not doing that is not attracting capital?’ So sometimes the success of a country’s economy is how best leaders can communicate effectively their policies and vision, which is not the case in our situation,” said Mutasa.

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