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Politics scare away investors — VP

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Discord among the political parties in the polarised inclusive government is scaring meaningful investment inflows in the country, Vice President Joice Mujuru said in Harare yesterday.
The shaky coalition’s failure to win financial support from Western powers and multilateral institutions has crippled its efforts to rebuild an economy shattered by a decade of political strife and acute foreign currency shortages.
Addressing the Infrastructure Development Forum Mujuru said there were divergent views in government on how certain issues should be handled, blocking the country from attracting much-needed foreign investment to kick-start the economy.
“There are bad attitudes that block investments coming into the country. Others want to personally gain,” she said. “In some instances it has just been a case of bad politics.” Delegates at the forum wanted to know why government was taking long to make vital decisions, including privatisation of ailing parastatals, that had been on the cards for more than a decade.
The existence and operations of the State Procurement Board was also brought under the spotlight. Concern was raised that investors had waited too long for approval of projects they had expressed an interest in. They questioned the sincerity of government in partnering with the private sector as in the past there had been inconsistencies in policy implementation.
“History will judge us. Not because of the number of meetings we held but on what we did with all the deliberations and policies we formulated,” Mujuru said. “Investors have had to go through too many offices, some of which have been stifling their interest.”
She said in a bid to shorten the process of investment in the country, government was in the process of restructuring the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA). It is envisaged that ZIA would become a one-stop shop so as to quicken investment approval processes, if all requirements were in order. Said Mujuru: “As a country, we have lengthened the process of investment approval for no apparent reason. We need to reform and show the world that we are indeed ready for business”.

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