Zimbabwe business challenges new President Mnangagwa

ZIMBABWE’S President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa is faced with a herculean task of transforming Zimbabwe’s moribund economy into a middle-income economy by 2030, analysts contend.

Mnangagwa (75) narrowly secured a five-year term against his younger opposition adversary Nelson Chamisa (40) in a disputed poll.

A former President Robert Mugabe aide for over five decades, Mnangagwa took over the reins late last year after Mugabe’s ignominious exit after being at the helm for nearly four decades.

“We are not looking for the economy to drive itself,” Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Sifelani Jabangwe said.

He said the economy will be driven by the business, private sector and government. “We hope to work together with government as we seek to fulfil vision 2030 for Zimbabwe to be a middle income country.”

Jabangwe expressed optimism of economic growth and indicated that Mnangagwa after taking over from Mugabe late last year had set the tone.

“For that to be achievable there is need for us to work together as government, the private sector and the business community,” Jabangwe said.

Mnangagwa is faced by an economy characterised by mass unemployment, cash shortages and decaying infrastructure following Mugabe’s years of gross misrule.

The President who has projected himself as a reformist has since told the world that Zimbabwe is open for business.

The new administration is targeting an annual economic growth rate of at least 6 percent over the next five years, attracting 5 billion on foreign direct investment and $10 billion in domestic investment a year.

Former (CZI) president and now president of Oil Expressers’ Association of Zimbabwe (OEA) president Busisa Moyo said Mnangagwa must come up with a comprehensive economic revival plan.

“Mnangagwa had already started to work on reopening Zimbabwe for business. For the incoming administration they is however need for a comprehensive economic revival plan,” he said.

Moyo said is looking forward to pro-business policies, reindustrialisation and the agricultural sector.

“Our economy needs to be self-sufficient. There is need to expand the cash crop by a vibrant agriculture sector,” he said.

He urged the incoming administration to open up mining for the international players to come and invest in the sector.

“Zimbabwe needs to be reconnected internally, an effective airport systems so that the business is connected,” Moyo said before indicating that there is need, “for a comprehensive, cohesive wide economic revival plan.”

Mnangawga is faced with an economy were more than 98% of transactions are conducted via electronic transfers, amend bank limit withdraws making it difficult for business to operate.

Currently the country is saddled with $1, 7 billion of arrears owed to the African development Bank and World Bank that it needs to repay before it can tap new loans from multilateral lenders.

“This election was about the economy not politics,” Association for Business in Zimbabwe (ABUZ) Victor Nyoni said.

“The President (Mnangagwa) had started on the process of economic recovery. There was progress on the rehabilitation of the economy,” he said.

The mandate Nyoni said gives Mnangagwa an opportunity to continue with the projects which he had started.

“We now have to focus on the rebuilding of the economy. What he was seeking were not votes but the rehabilitation of the economy,” the ABUZ president said.

He said business is looking forward to the materialisation of the deals which had been signed by Mnangagwa before the elections.

Nyoni said is “looking forward to the materialisation of the deals that he signed. We are looking at the aspect of protecting investment, property rights and legal rights amongst other instruments aimed at the ease of doing business.”


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