Walk the talk, Mnangagwa

via Walk the talk, Mnangagwa – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 16, 2015

VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has acknowledged that the business environment in Zimbabwe was stunting growth in the country resulting in many closing shop to the detriment of the economy.

NewsDay Editorial

But the fact that Mnangagwa chose to reveal the truth in a foreign land shows that although Zanu PF is aware that its continued stay in control has destroyed the economy, it has no intention to let go of power.

By Mnangagwa’s admission, Zanu PF has failed to resuscitate the economy and must swallow its pride and review some of its controversial economic policies and policy inconsistencies to attract foreign direct investment.

We are aware that this truth may mean trouble to him given his boss and Zanu PF leader President Robert Mugabe would want us to believe that the current challenges are a result of the targeted sanctions imposed on him and his inner circle including Mnangagwa himself.
It is true that the political environment prevailing in the country is one that discourages foreign investment. Truth is Zanu PF has failed the people and until it is reformed the country is doomed for now.

There is no doubt that Zimbabwe needs a new political leadership to move the country forward.

Is it not refreshing that Mugabe’s long-time ally seems to suggest a vigorous reform process of not only the economy, but also the political leadership?

We believe that the government should focus its policies on encouraging high growth businesses that can generate jobs and wealth, instead of focusing on businesses just because they are small.

A tour of the Quest Motor Corporation plant in Mutare on Tuesday showed that with government support, local firms can steer out of the economic storm.

The car assembler has managed to ride the storm that has claimed the scalp of Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries.
It has managed to bring on board Chinese brands. Regrettably, the company imports all its material from China yet such companies could support local suppliers to help downstream industries to grow.

Currently, Quest employs 170, but has potential of employing over 1 500. What is unfortunate though is the fact that despite such a huge investment, the company has not received support from government.

We are aware that at some point government instructed all ministries and departments to buy cars locally as a way of boosting local assemblers.

Regrettably, that policy is gathering dust somewhere and no one has ensured that such a noble gesture was followed to the letter. The biggest violators of this policy has been government itself which has failed to walk the talk.

There is nothing wrong in buying a quota of their vehicle needs from local assemblers. That way, jobs could be sustained.
That gesture could serve to build confidence in the locally-assembled brands. It is an established fact that the liquidity crunch facing the country is a result of fewer export receipts as imports rise astronomically.

The government can encourage high growth businesses by focusing on initiatives directed at specific high growth sectors, such as greater public procurement and research and development tax credits.

It does not help the people for Mnangagwa to confess that Zimbabwe has lost 20 years when the Zanu PF leadership is the culprit and continues to live in the past.

Zanu PF has turned Zimbabwe into a vendors’ economy yet they are ill-treating them for convenience sake.

The people deserve a better deal, and the supposed Chinese mega-deals have remained pie in the sky.

It is about time we put the idea of high growth businesses right at the heart of everything Zimbabweans do.