Zimbabwe: U.S. Govt Happy With Transitional Stabilisation Programme

The United States government says Zimbabwe's latest economic blueprint, The Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) can address the economy's weaknesses if fully implemented and help boost investor confidence.

The TSP, a child of Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube, is the foundation upon which President Mnangagwa's government aims to springboard the economy to an upper-middle-income status by 2030.

The blueprint themed "Towards a prosperous & empowered upper-middle-income society by 2030," runs until December 2020.

In its 2019 assessment of the investment climate in Zimbabwe, the US State Department noted positive moves taken by the new administration in Harare, while expressing reservations on what it said were slow pace of reform implementation and rampant corruption.

"The Transitional Stabilisation Programme, announced in 2018, includes structural and fiscal reforms that, if fully implemented, would resolve many of the economy's fundamental weaknesses," said the US State Department in its July 11, executive summary of the 2019 investment climate statement on Zimbabwe.

The US said investors were still cautious when choosing to invest in the country, awaiting to see wholesome changes while lauding the new administration's quick initiative in dealing with once-controversial foreign ownership laws, which were changed from applying to the rest of the economy save for diamonds and platinum sectors.

"The Government announced its commitment to improving transparency, streamlining business regulations, and removing corruption, but the last two years have brought only modest progress," said the US government's most powerful arm.

The US expressed concern on levels of corruption which it said "remains rife." Government has since moved to deal with graft through the appointment of a new Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, whose members were sworn into office this week.

Under the leadership of Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo, the new ZACC has said it will leave no stone unturned in stemming graft, with over 200 cases including high profile individuals already under investigation.

Washington also noted commitment by the government to respect and protect property rights in the aftermath of the land reform programme.

Relations between Zimbabwe and the US remain uneasy as Washington has kept its sanctions on Harare for nearly two decades.

The embargo continues to choke Zimbabwe's economic performance as their maintenance not only paints the country as rogue nation, blocking investor interest and financial support from multi-lateral organisations, while complicating cross border financial transactions that benefit the country.

Harare, through its re-engagement agenda, is working towards the restoration of relations with Washington that will result in the lifting of the sanctions. -- New Ziana.

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