By Alois Vinga
HOSTILE foreign policies by other countries are fueling lack of investor confidence in Zimbabwe, Central Bank Governor, John Mangudya has said.
The RBZ chief told a breakfast meeting Tuesday, that while there is need to find out why the country continues to face challenges in bringing investors, government policies should not face the entire blame.
“I can submit to you that it is the foreign policies that are weighing on us. The country has lost a lot of consolidated relationships over the past ten years, not because of domestic but foreign policies which are outside our control,” Mangudya said.
The Central Bank Governor revealed that Zimbabwe has been receiving the least investments than any other country in the region but argued the reasons for this cannot be domestic alone.
“We need to ask ourselves where the bigger weights are. We may need to find out how things like the Unites States imposed Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (Zidera) have impacted on the economy,” he said.
The US enacted Zidera in 2001 arguing then President Robert Mugabe had violated human rights, stole elections and that the land expropriation exercise had upset property rights.
Mangudya maintained that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has done well under difficult circumstances and urged powerful countries to appreciate his efforts.
“Even the World Bank (WB) recently allocated funds to assist Cyclone Idai victims but Zimbabwe‘s funding is coming through third parties in the form of United Nations agencies and this is being caused by the geo-political factors,” Mangudya added.
Zimbabwe is struggling with foreign currency shortages due to depressed imports. This has had a negative impact on fuel prices and supplies in particular creating havoc in the economy.
While acknowledging Zimbabwe’s efforts to overhaul the Companies Act with a draft bill now before Parliament after extensive consultations among stakeholders, the multilateral institutions argue that the country has missed set data collection timetables.
The Insolvency Bill which will permit an expeditious turnaround of distressed companies and quick liquidation of unsalvageable entities thus preserving shareholder value and interest has been gazetted. However, this has since been withdrawn in order to make sure it’s aligned with the amended Companies Act.
On the other hand, the Manpower Act Amendment Bill, aimed at centralising the collection of manpower development levies and streamline payments under the paying taxes indicator also failed to meet the WB deadline as did the Shop Licenses Amendment Bill.