Zimbabwe's three unity government principals will face international investors this week at the World Economic Forum in Tanzania and attempt to allay their concerns over the country’s plans to transfer majority ownership of large enterprises to black indigenous investors over the coming five-years.
President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara were in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday with other leaders from around the world for the forum focusing on Africa, and were to deliver their pitch to representatives of the global investment community on Thursday.
Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere was also to make the country’s case at the forum, which runs from Wednesday through Friday.
Discussions on Zimbabwe will examine the country's economic recovery prospects in view of recently promulgated regulations for implementation of the 2007 Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act which caused a stir in the business community and among foreign investors in the country when they were gazetted last month.
Prospective foreign investors are expected to interrogate President Mugabe and his unity government colleagues about the indigenization law and the controversial regulations, which are now under review.
Economic Planning Minister Elton Mangoma, also scheduled to attend the forum, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that senior Zimbabwean officials are hoping to win over skeptical investors to encourage inflows of the capital so desperately needed to help rebuild the country's battered economy.
"One of the things that we obviously want as a country is to get exposure, let people know that Zimbabwe is back on the world economic scene and that we are also available for investment," Mangoma said.
Indigenization Minister Kasukuwere told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that he hopes African leaders will back Harare’s black empowerment law.
But Bulawayo-based political commentator Qhubani Moyo said the power-sharing government delegation has its work cut out for it convincing investors to target Zimbabwe. "The three government principals have a tall order of convincing foreign investors that Zimbabwe is a safe destination for investment," Moyo said.
Elsewhere, tensions in the government rose on Tuesday after Harare police briefly detained a House member from Mr. Tsvangirai's formation of the Movement for Democratic Change in connection with charges brought two years ago and dismissed at that time by the courts for lack of evidence.
Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said the detention of Glenview legislator Paul Madzore was part of an escalation of attacks on party members by hardliners of President Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, adding that this is likely to undermine such unity as remains in the transitional government installed in February 2009.
Madzore told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that he was accused of assaulting members of the police two years ago, but the case had been dismissed for lack of evidence.