By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
A local think tank, Zimbabwe Institute of Strategic Thinking (ZIST) convened a conference in the capital on Tuesday where delegates from across the political divide deliberated on means to end the socio-political impasse to stir economic development.
Addressing delegates ,renowned businessman and Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) chairperson Nigel Chanakira revealed that the current environment is not yet attractive for more foreign investment.
“We still have what we call a VUCA (volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous) economy here which means the major indicators for investment are not there.
“While we are doing our best in dealing with the macro-economic fundamentals there is no political stability which is key to attract investment, ”said the former Kingdom Bank founder and chief executive officer.
This was also echoed by former Harare mayor Mr Ben Manyenyeni who highlighted how toxic politics is haunting the running of the capital’s municipality.
“Devolution which is provided by the constitution under Chapter 14 has been going on smoothly in other provinces but it has been challenged and denied in Harare.
“Town House is now a battleground for toxic politics and the cost of interference from the central government runs into millions of dollars,” asserted Manyenyeni who was Harare mayor from 2013-2018.
Zanu PF Manicaland chairperson and Transport Deputy Minister Mike Madiro said the current administration was willing to take on board advice from anyone despite political inclination.
“We should credit the new dispensation through President Emmerson Mnangagwa for being a listening president.
“His Vision 2030 clearly acknowledges that there is a need to work together across the political divide to achieve this and even if we are getting criticism at least we are factoring this ,”said Madiro
Meanwhile, guest of honour, UK-based businesswoman Manyara Irene Muyenziwa spoke at length on the immense potential this country has to extricate itself from the prevailing harsh economic climate.
“Zimbabwe’s new focus must be a paradigm for thinking about a future in which environmental, social and economic considerations are balanced in the pursuit of development and an improved quality of life.
“Development such as human wellbeing, human resources development, social development, sustainable development, inclusive development, development with a human face, and the international impact on development paradigms are important for the new breed of leaders globally,”she opined.
The chief executive officer of Rhodsac Community implored the government not renege on its responsibilities to create an investor –friendly environment.
“We remind the Government to remain mindful of its responsibility, which is essentially, to create a conducive environment for business to thrive and produce under acceptable competitive conditions for the good of the economy.
“International community engagement is key for Direct Foreign Investment, confidence building and trust as far as economic recovery is concerned , in the process tapping the diverse opportunities available in all key sectors of the economy, ”added Muyenziwa.
The conference was also graced by Zimbabwe Council of Churches general secretary Dr Kenneth Mtata who spoke on the need of a comprehensive national peace and reconciliation programme essential to stir economic development.
According to Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) director Janet Zhou reminded that debt management remains a key responsibility government need to execute with citizens’ participation.