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Ambassador Thomas Jnr. Says No Quick Fix to Zimbabwe's Ailing Economy

Ambassador Harry Thomas Jnr.
Ambassador Harry Thomas Jnr.

Outgoing United States ambassador to Zimbabwe, Harry Thomas Jnr. says it will take time for Zimbabwe's economy to fully develop.

He told VOA Studio 7 in an exclusive interview that Zimbabwe should pay its debts in order to grow the economy.

“It’s going to be a long road and I think we need to make that clear. You don’t get out of the debts over night, but it’s simple. You pay off your debt, to not only the international financial institutions but private banks, or you reschedule them. Then you still have other debt that you still have to pay off and that’s what makes it so hard.

Ambassador Harry Thomas and VOA Zimbabwe Service's Blessing Zulu.
Ambassador Harry Thomas and VOA Zimbabwe Service's Blessing Zulu.

“So, the only way to do that is with the help of not only the international financial institutios but the private sector as well. That’s why it was so important to us that he goes to Davos, that he goes to Abidjan, Rwanda, that the mines minister goes to South Africa for the Indaba, because it’s going to be the private sector that’s going to bring positive change.”

Ambassador Thomas Jnr. noted that Zimbabwean authorities should also tackle corruption in order to grow the economy.

“You’ve seen the Asian Tigers, you’ve seen Rwanda, all of them adopted the same thing, they made it easy for foreign and domestic investors to come in, they got rid of corruption, they made opportunities through infrastructure which lowers cost. These are things we believe Zimbabwe will have to do to no longer be a society where government officials were rent seekers, or got wealthy through patronage or imported countless Land Rovers and Rolls at the expense of the average person.”

Ambassador Thomas Jnr. is expected to complete his mission March 31st.