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‘Hands off business’

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NATIONAL Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) general manager Retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai says the government must stay out of the day-to-day running of businesses, but work towards the creation of an enabling environment.

Report by Vitalis Moyo Own Correspondent

Karakadzai said one of the key hindrances in turning around the country’s industrial sector was the perception that those tasked with formulating turnaround strategies lacked the expertise on how to deal with the issues at hand.

“Government should stay away from business, but should create a favourable environment for businesspeople to solve their own problems,” he said while addressing delegates attending a business indaba organised by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces National College at a city hotel in Bulawayo on Tuesday.

On NRZ, Karakadzai blamed the imposition of sanctions for the failure by the company to secure funds for recapitalisation.
He said as a result, the parastatal could no longer access capital from international financiers.

“NRZ is now failing to get funds from the likes of IMF due to the economic sanctions that have crippled the economy, making it hard for us to get spares for locomotives,” Karakadzai said.

“We used to get those (spare parts) from an American company — General Motors and General Electric.”

Karakadzai said 25% of NRZ business used to be generated from the industrial sector before the economic decline, but that had since dropped to 10% due to de-industrialisation.

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