By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
Harare, March 27, 2016 – YOUTH, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Patrick Zhuwao has distanced the government from the current rot bedevilling both state and private firms insisting their sorry state was through ineptitude.
Zhuwao told journalists this past week it was the responsibility of managers within individual firms to spur their organisations to success while urging them to stop pinning their misfortunes on the state of the economy.
“A significant component of management of private businesses in this country are hiding behind issues that the environment is not conducive yet they are looting or they are grossly incompetent and squarely blame it on the government,” he said.
“The government’s business is to look for votes and to address the wishes of the people.”
Zimbabwe currently battles massive de-industrialisation blamed on the country’s tough operating environment caused by policy inconsistencies, liquidity challenges and power shortages.
The crisis has given rise to massive job losses which have pushed many into the informal market.
Prospective foreign investors wishing to come to the country have held back their investment fearing the seizure of their wealth under government’s difficult empowerment policies.
However, calls have been made for government to relax its tough laws to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to return to the country.
But Zhuwao was quick to dispel the notion that the Zimbabwean economy can be best be resuscitated through FDI inflows as is widely believed.
“I have always questioned ‘voodoo economists’ who claim that the economy can only be resuscitated by FDI.
“Foreign Direct Investment is not the Alpha and Omega of this country; we have other issues that talk to efficiency, productivity and levels of productivity that relate more to this economy,” he added.
President Robert Mugabe’s nephew has given foreign firms operating in Zimbabwe up to April 1 to comply with the country’s indigenisation laws or face closure.
The law compels them to surrender at leaser 51 per cent of their equity to locals, something that has elicited strong rebuke from the country’s opposition.