Source: Mudenda attacks lethargic ministers | The Herald May 11, 2016
THE Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda has blasted some ministers for their “lethargic” response to implementing investment proposals thereby frustrating efforts to rejuvenate the economy.
Potential business deals with foreign investors have taken long to be implemented because of a slow response by relevant ministries.
Speaking during a seminar on the ease of doing business here last Friday, Adv Mudenda slated some Government officials for frustrating investors.
“Ambassadors write project proposals on investment, but everywhere where we have gone, they (ambassadors) are frustrated. Indonesia, for example, has written to us saying they wanted 10 tonnes of meat supply from Zimbabwe and 10 tonnes of soya beans per month, but the Ministries of Agriculture and Foreign Affairs have not moved,” said Adv Mudenda.
“We are failing to export to the EU (European Union) at times because of poor communication with embassies here at home.”
He also said Zimbabwe was yet to sign an investment agreement with Kuwait despite insistence by that country to bring more business here.
“When we went to Kuwait two weeks after His Excellency (President Mugabe) had presented clarification on that beautiful indigenisation policy, our ambassador there didn’t have a copy of the document to clarify indigenisation, a very important statement from his Head of State which answers his questions to investors, no transmission for that,” said Adv Mudenda.
While Zimbabwe has signed a trade agreement with countries such as Kenya, the Speaker added, it has failed to tap into opportunities offered by the treaty because of lack of follow up engagements by relevant ministries.
“With Kenya, the trade protocol for the joint commission was signed in 1997 and no meeting has taken place since then, yet Kenya is a huge market for us. Ambassador Kelebert Nkomani has written several times and Dr (Ray) Ndhlukula knows that. Then we say we are rich, but you are not doing the ease of doing business by mere communication,” he blasted.
Dr Ndhlukula, who is Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, attended the meeting.
Adv Mudenda said the legislature was concerned about the pace of economic projects’ implementation and challenged policy makers and Government officials to do their work as expected.
He also took a swipe at bureaucratic tendencies for stifling progress saying often Government officials do not respond on time to communication sent to them.
“It’s time for a radical paradigm shift from our business as usual approach to business unusual,” said Adv Mudenda.
He said the ease of doing business reform process, which is spearheaded by the Office of the President and Cabinet, seeks to come up with a long-term strategy for revamping Zimbabwe’s economy.
Adv Mudenda said the process was aimed at coming up with a clear link on the ease of doing business with Zim-Asset and its targets.
Zimbabwe is targeting landing a top 20 position in the global ease of doing business ranking, which will position it for increased investment.