By Alois Vinga
ENERGY Minister, Fortune Chasi has pleaded with the local media to report accurately on issues relating to the country’s affairs adding that alarmist reporting, often on false news tended to drive away potential investors.
He was speaking at the National Energy Innovations Summit in Harare Thursday.
The Zanu PF legislator cited an incident in which one potential investor had second thoughts about investing in Zimbabwe after coming across reports that the country was being ravaged by yellow fever.
“Recently, I was engaging an investor who wanted to come and do 300 megawatts solar project in Zimbabwe.
“Unfortunately, he informed me he could no longer come through after reading a news article alleging the country had been ravaged by yellow fever.”
Chasi said local journalists should strive to present accurate issues about their country without turning to falsehood or being sensational.
“While we (government) cherish criticism, sometimes we will respond to it, let’s also recognise that we have our sensitivities among our investors who deserve to be fed with accurate information,” he said.
Zimbabwe is in the throes of a tough economic situation which has seen its inflation soar to three-digit figures as prices of goods and services skyrocket beyond the reach of many.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ‘Zimbabwe is open for business mantra’ seems to have lost traction amid signs investors were not keen to pour investment in a country battling continuous power, fuel and water problems.
Hyperinflation has also eaten away at ordinary citizens’ disposable incomes, rendering the average citizen unable to afford basics such as bread.
Rights abuses, policy somersaults and high-level corruption have all severely dented the Emmerson Mnangagwa led administration’s international image, making it near impossible for serious investors to come and set up businesses in the country.