The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: It's None, but Ourselves

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Let us state emphatically here that while Zimbabwe needs foreign currency and is ready to accommodate all investors, the country must also get fair value for its finite, natural resources. It is in this vein that the country has pursued policies such as land reforms, indigenisation and economic empowerment.

Those who want to invest must appreciate these national imperatives and not expect to get carte blanche. The 51/49 percent shareholding ratio is very generous by any standard despite the tendency by our local so-called analysts to cry louder than the aggrieved. We have a product to sell and the buyer must give fair value.

We have no full information on why there was no investment recorded from local investors. Perhaps this calls for a full survey for we don't want to impute a political motive.

It is, however, a sad commentary on us as a nation that we want and expect foreigners to invest in our country while we keep our eyes trained on World Bank country risk profiles which are specifically designed to deter investment in Zimbabwe.

The message we have is very simple as we get into the new year: It's none but ourselves who can rebuild Zimbabwe. Like Minister Chinamasa said in his budget presentation, the old enclave economy of Rhodesia is dead. It is dead never to rise again.

Yet we have people still living in denial of policies of black economic empowerment and indigenisation. They still nurse a forlorn hope cruising against this concrete reality that somehow, miraculously, the dead Rhodesian enclave economy will one day, like the proverbial phoenix, rise from the ashes of the Third Chimurenga.

Zimbabwe needs to construct a new economy which benefits the majority.

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