Govt must shun policy inconsistencies

IT IS high time that Zimbabwe comes up with proper policies that woo investors into the country. Currently, the country cannot lure foreign investors due to its policy inconsistencies.
This comes amid a government directive that all mining companies in Chiadzwa stop operations because they were not licensed.

This is despite claims by some of the companies that they were operating based on agreements emanating from bilateral agreements between Zimbabwe and the firms’ native countries among them China and Russia.

Such a violation of basic agreements does not paint a good picture of the country as a good investment destination.
Several investors are afraid to come to the country, fearing their efforts would in the end go to waste.

The indigenisation policy, which demands foreign companies to cede 51 percent of their shareholding to locals, is one such policy that has remained shrouded in controversy.

While this has always been the undertaking since the inception of the policy, government officials have been reading from different books, making the whole programme a shadowy exercise.
In some cases, some companies have lost their properties and investments as politicians seek to please the electorate.
Most of these decisions that are made to benefit the interests of few top politicians and their cronies who corruptly make money at the expense of the general populace.

Because of government’s failure to come up with consistent policies, Zimbabwe has failed to register much productivity over the years, as investors continue to shun the country.
This has contributed to the poor performance of the economy, reducing the majority of citizens to destitution.

The government’s promise to deliver two million jobs has remained pie in the sky, as several companies have shut down owing to viability challenges.

Amid its plans to revive the programme by coming up with blueprints, its efforts have gone to waste due to failure to get proper funding for some of the projects.

Several investors who have shown interest in the country were pulled back by the government’s opaque policies.
This has also been exacerbated by corrupt
officials, who often solicit for bribes from potential investors. Corruption issues have created a fair share of their own problems in terms of pushing away investors.

But all this is caused by government’s failure to come up with a consistent plan. There should be a proper and well-defined procedure through which investors come into the country, up to the time that they are allowed to pour in their money.
This would help deal with the issues of “middle men” who normally capitalise on the government’s faulty investment strategies.

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