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Economists: Gvt Must Clean Polluted Business Environment

President Robert Mugabe with his two deputies, Phelekezela Mphoko (L) and Emmerson Mnangagwa (R). Collage by Ntungamili Nkomo

Economic analysts say the government must act on recommendations by the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) to clean up the country’s polluted investment environment so as to attract the much-needed foreign investment.

This as the World Bank says Harare remains one of the least favorable destinations for investors, ranking it 171 out of 189 countries in its 2014 ease of doing business index.

ZIA Chief Executive Officer Richard Mbaiwa told the parliamentary portfolio committee on Industry and Commerce this week that Zimbabwe “needs to aggressively improve the overall business environment and investment climate to attract meaningful levels of investment.”

He added that in the region, the country remained the least attractive for business.

This despite a vote of confidence by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in march which applauded the government for “making progress in implementing their reform program” and making "progress in clarifying the indigenization laws.”

But economic commentator Masimba Kuchera disagreed, telling Studio 7 Zimbabwe has not done enough to clear the lingering perception that it is a hostile place for foreign investment.