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Biti: Zimbabwe Fallen Off Investors' Radar, Now Basket Case

FILE: Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai Biti delivers his speech about the 2013 budget at the Parliament in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 15, 2012.

Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti says foreign investors are willing to open businesses in Zimbabwe if the political situation improves.

Biti, who is currently in Washington DC as a visiting fellow at the Centre for Global Development, said investors are watching the unfolding political drama in the country where a Zanu PF faction allegedly led by new Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is now in charge of the ruling party.

He said, “I had a group of investors yesterday and I was actually urging them to put their money back home … The bottom line is that Zimbabwe has fallen off the radar completely and people have written us off as a basket case.

“There is hardly any interest in Zimbabwe and people are tired of our noise, conflicts, stolen elections, violence, repository politics and politics of exclusion.”

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The Zimbabwe economy has been sliding since the 2013 general election won resoundingly by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party, which has been of late locked in a political dispute over the control of the former liberation party.

The country owes the World Bank $1 billion and the International Monetary Fund about $124 million. Zimbabwe is currently struggling to settle a $10 billion external debt.

Meanwhile, as the economy struggles, Tobacco Marketing Board chief Andrew Matibiri said Zimbabwe is facing critical shortages of tobacco transplants ahead of the forthcoming crop season.

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