Gono appointed as SEZ chair

FORMER Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, Gideon Gono yesterday returned to the limelight after being appointed chairperson of an 11-member Special Economic Zones (SEZs) board, while there was also a place for army boss, General Constantino Chiwenga’s wife, Marry Mubaiwa on the body.

By Fidelity Mhlanga

Gideon Gono
Gideon Gono

This came after President Robert Mugabe assented to the SEZ Act on October 31 last year.

Speaking at the inauguration of the new board, Macro-economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Obert Mpofu said SEZs were expected to stimulate investment flows from domestic and international markets into strategic sectors of the economy.

“We are all aware that Zimbabwe has continued to experience a dwindling investment space, as foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows continue on a downward trend,” he said.

“It is sad to note the negative statistics, but the country is presented with an opportunity for economic transformation, growth and development through the implementation of SEZs.”

Mpofu said the board will be responsible for supervising the approval of SEZ licence applications and granting of all relevant permits within five days, while working with the Zimbabwe Investment Authority and local authorities among other key stakeholders.

“Sections 57 and 58 of the (SEZ) Act specify that you are supposed to come up with regulations and incentives in consultation with the minister as well as the Finance minister, which will apply and give effect to the SEZs,” he said.

“You are, therefore, responsible for the setting up of a one stop investment centre in each SEZ to ensure the speedy approval of all applications, as well as the speedy clearance of any goods or equipment to be used in the SEZs.”

Zimbabwe’s record in attracting FDI in recent years is abysmal compared to its neighbours and this is attributed to policy inconsistences and the high cost of doing business among a host of other issues.

Since 2014, FDI into the country has been nosediving with statistics showing that last year the country attracted $319 million, $421 million in 2015 and $545 in 2014.

Other members of the board are Sithandile Ngwenya (vice chairperson), Godfrey Chanakira, Ozias Hove, Erasmus Gapara, Constance Zhanje, Edwin Zvandasara, Christopher Dube, Marry Mubaiwa, Busisa Moyo and Thando Madzvamuse.

In his acceptance speech, Gono said the board will adhere to the Act that required the advancement of an export generating strategy and support import substitution initiatives, so as to reduce the import bill without compromising quality, price and timely availability of products or services.

“We want to assure all Zimbabweans that this board will brook no misdirection from any quarter seeking to advance any form of ‘ism’, political, ethnic, regional or otherwise, which is not provided for by the Act and does not advance the purposes for which you (Mpofu), with the approval of His Excellency, the President, have appointed us.”

24 Comments

  1. Pascal Mandeya summed it up subtly when he said it has not really worked in many countries it was introduced, and looking at the players in this board I think he is right another hoax.

  2. Board Members are all Shonas or pro ZanuPF. Each Board member will get a salary of $50 000 per month, and a $10 000 sitting allowance, plus a duty free Merc or 4×4. Good start to any Special Economic Zone. In the end these Zones will be abused and end up being white elephants or feeding troughs. They sure are scraping the bottom of the barrel if they are appointing Gono as chair.

  3. Mugabe’s recycling machine working.

  4. Timothy Thorton

    I have always argued that these are the same as export processing zones although EPZ’s were meant to promote exports the theory is the same.

  5. Finally Gedion Gono has been recalled to participate in the final looting of what remains of Zimbabwe’s resources, I bet with my soul/life nothing beneficial to ordinary Zimbos will come out of that Gono led/chaired cartel.

  6. Mugabe’s recycling of old guards , it wont work and these people are not failures and will not bring anything new.You cant teach an old dog some new tricks.

  7. Ko Marry Mubaiwa munomuonavo sei veduweeeeee?

    1. Fidhiresi Dzvuke

      Inongova nzira yokumora nayo upfumi hwenyika. Hapana chiripo makumbo enyoka!!

      1. Kiki Dhivarisi

        He-he-de!!! Seka zvako mwana waDhivharisi.

  8. I trust Gideon Gono’s professional etiquette and capability to pressure handling, he has already proved that in the ‘Briefcase Economy’. Like him or not, he has the required muscle.

  9. panobaiwa economy kkkkkkkk

  10. Gono again!!! Tiri patight!

  11. i like one thing about Gono,he is a hard worker even tho sometimes achizoenderera ! ini ndinoti ari right anoita,dambudziko nderekuti haadiwe ne Lacoste!

  12. Asina mari ndiRazaro……..vane mari ndiana Gono…heeeee muteuro! Singing.

  13. There is no room for fresh mindsin Zimbabwe.Its the recycling of garbage from Mugabe’s dustbin.Pity for the 15 million educated well deserving Zimbos

  14. The problem is bad politics. Thy can change names from Export processing zones to Special Economic Zones but that will not solve the problem. Investors don’t want this gvt that doesn’t care about investment security.

    1. I often told people that the Zim problem is due to political mismanagement. Remove ZANU PF and the country wiil prosper.

  15. aluta victory

    kkkkkk! ayas.kanyika kacho kaita kaduku.mbavha dzazara kwese.apa kawira mugomba makari kutandadza kari.ini zii zvangu.

  16. The thief who destroyed the Zimbabwe dollar and economy, added to army self-indulgence & corruption.

    Seriously?

    1. Yep seriously, this crew will not stop until the last dollar is stolen and all hope of the ordinary is crushed. This is a cult of destruction.

  17. He failed to run his own chicken farm.

  18. the thief who presided over the demise of our currency presides over the looting of whats left of our economy

  19. hohohohohohohDO!!!!!!!! HURIIIIIII

  20. What is stopping us from opening the economy to outsiders? We are in shreds and yet we leave it to a cluelessness government to lead us into oblivion. Who has gone nuts again in government who is introducing all this command trading zones to trade in command maize from command farmers in command agriculture by command idiots

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