Give Zimbabweans in the diaspora same incentives as foreign investors-Parliament says


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My Committee also observes that there is confusion within the two ministries because they did not have clear mandates. The Office of the President (OPC) did not give them clear mandates when they came to present the budget to us. There is still some kind of nostalgia about the old regime. They do not appear to fit into this new dimension where the President is now talking about a new dispensation. That needs to be done as soon as possible. We are happy that the Executive saw it fit to remove the Department of International Trade from Industry and put it to Foreign Affairs. Foreign Affairs already has the structures. We have missions across the globe and we can use these missions to make sure that we re-engage, rebrand and assist in attracting FDIs and also to mobilise our diasporans to make sure that they come and invest home. We are saying that as soon as possible, OPC must make sure that this department is removed from the Ministry of Industry.

In terms of our recommendations, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development, because it has some added responsibilities has been given the mandate to run the Indigenisation Department and also the Enterprise Department which used to be the SMEs. This work is what is needed right now if we are to improve this economy within the 100 day period.

We recommend that the Ministry comes up with programmes for domestic resource mobilisation with clear investment strategies. For example, we can have Zimbabweans who are locally based pulling their resources together and buying into the available companies. We have an example of what happened with NRZ – these are Zimbabweans who have invested in the NRZ and also the Government and the Ministry must put into practical use the new Indigenisation Policy and look for serious investors to resuscitate strategic industries such as ZISCO, NRZ, Hwange Colliery, David Whitehead, CSC and others. The Government must also come up with a clear Diaspora Policy with incentives. In other words, we need to incentivise our Zimbabweans who are either working or staying abroad so that it is attractive for them to come and reinvest here in Zimbabwe.

As it is now, the money which is coming in; these are just remittances which are for domestic use, we now need money for our industrial development. For that, we need the Government to come out with clear incentives which are the same as those given to foreign investors through FDIs. We need that for our own Zimbabweans.

The department of Enterprise Development, as I said, these are for SMEs and should come up with programmes which will help the informal sector and make sure that this sector graduates from being small enterprises to become big industries and businesses. This should be our focus now in the next 100 days. The Government, through the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development should also identify priority areas as the pillars and engines of growth and provide the necessary support.

Mr. Speaker, there is another issue of IDC, which has sort of lost its mandate. The Minister was saying we must assist in liquidating IDC debts and has allocated $7 million towards a bottomless pit. We are saying no, instead of giving that money to IDC to liquidate part of its debt, that $7million, Hon. Minister must be given to – ( Hon. Gonese having been speaking to the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Planning) – please do not disturb the Minister, we want him to listen. That money, the $7 million must be given to the Special Economic Zones to make sure that they work.

Continued next page

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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