WASHINGTON D.C. —
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the government is doing all it can to relax the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe as it seeks to attract and keep foreign investors in the country.
Officially opening a Pillars of Peace Initiative for Southern Africa meeting, Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe realizes that there is so much competition for foreign investors in the world that it is doing all it can to up its game by removing bottlenecks that are keeping investors away.
He said Zimbabwe is overhauling all pieces of legislation that hinder business or scare away potential investors, among them the indigenization laws.
“We are competing for capital with the rest of the world and capital will go where it feels more comfortable so we need to create an environment where capital will find comfort in Zimbabwe,” Mnangagwa said.
He said the government is taking serious steps to enhance the business environment in the country.
“Zimbabwe is determined to rout and eradicate the scourge of corruption, a cancer that threatens peace and development in our society,” the deputy president said.
Maintaining peace, Mnangagwa said, will ensure accelerated economic development, adding that's one major reason why Zimbabwe maintains good relations with its neighbors as well as avoiding conflict at all costs.
But businessman and former Harare Mayor, Muchadei Masunda, said while the government's intentions were good, what is required urgently is action on the ground.
He said events and discord on the ground and in Zanu PF conflict Mnangagwa’s statements.
“There are many examples that I can give of things that have happened that have put the economy of the country at even greater risk,” said Masunda.
He said policy inconsistencies and the on-going harassment of companies scare foreign companies from coming to Zimbabwe.
National Peace Trust executive director, Trust Mamombe, said the meeting aims to come up with initiatives that will ensure the peace enjoyed in Zimbabwe and the region endures.
“We want to identify things that we need to do so that the relative peace that we are enjoying remains durable and sustainable,” he said.
Top government ministers, local and regional academics and ambassadors from Australia, Zambia and Botswana are attending the two-day meeting.