Zimbabwe: Industry Hails Zida Appointments

27 March 2020

Captains of industry and investors have lauded President Mnangagwa's appointment of top executives from the private sector to head the new Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA).

The appointees bring in a wealth of experience that enables them to articulate investors' concerns.

ZIDA has the mandate to ensure that Government's policy on ease of doing business is implemented in the new one-stop environment in line with the "Zimbabwe is Open for Business" policy.

Mr Busisa Moyo, the CEO of United Refineries, was appointed advisory board chair, while Mr Douglas Tawanda Munatsi, a top private sector investment executive, is the new ZIDA chief executive officer.

Other members of the advisory board include Dr Tobias Takavarasha, Mr Kenneth Richard Rupert Schofield, Dr Sylvia Janet Utete-Masango, Mrs Sithandile Ngwenya, Mrs Tariro Ndebele, Engineer Michael James Tumbare, Mrs Nancy Samuriwo and Mr Moosa Hanif Allana.

All appointments are from April 1, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda announced on Tuesday night.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Henry Ruzvidzo said it was imperative that ZIDA was manned by people who understood the centrality of organisation in driving the country's foreign direct investment (FDI) drive.

"ZIDA is an important institution that can play a catalytic role in jump starting FDI and local investment into the economy," he said.

"Representatives from the private sector will understand the prerequisites and priorities for this important institution.

"We are therefore encouraged by the appointment of these significant representatives from business. The doing business environment requires serious attention so that local business operators can be the front line ambassadors for new investment." Mr Ruzvidzo said he was confident Mr Moyo's team would receive local industry's overwhelming response.

"The new team at ZIDA has its work cut out and I am sure the private sector stands ready to lend them all the support they may need," he said. Secretary-general of the Chinese Chamber of Enterprise in Zimbabwe (CCEZ), Jay Li, who is also company administration manager for Tianze Ze Tobacco, said the appointment of private sector executives into ZIDA administration is a welcome development.

"These people will bring confidence to the investors because they understand the language and the challenges," he said. "If the investors have no confidence in you and if they doubt you and do not understand you, they will not be comfortable in bringing money into the country."

ZIDA seeks to provide assurance to investors about the country's commitment to property rights. The new law repealed the Zimbabwe Investment Authority Act, the Joint Venture Act and the Special Economic Zones Act, resulting in the dissolution of the Zimbabwe Investment Authority, the Joint Venture Unit and the Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority.

ZIDA is tasked with highlighting reforms being carried out by the Government and guarantees provided in the ZIDA Act that include non-expropriation of investments, fair and equitable treatment of domestic and foreign investors, facility to transfer funds without restrictions or delay and transparency in the provision of investment information.

It is set to attract FDI and be able to work with major private investors around the world, something where the private sector background of its top tier will no doubt be helpful.

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