DIASPORANS CAN DRIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH :CHARAMBA
President Mnangagwa is banking on diasporans to contribute to the rebuilding of the economy, according to Information secretary, George Charamba.
He said President Mnangagwa appreciated the value of Zimbabweans in many respects.“The President appreciates their four-fold value,” he said.“One, they wield skills that are critical to economic recovery. Secondly, they may have made some savings which if pooled together will make a difference.
Thirdly, they may have struck partnerships with well-resourced foreigners who might want to consider Zimbabwe as an investment destination. Finally, they can vouch for their homeland as a good and safe destination for investment – in other words, they can play an ambassadorial role.”
Charamba said the Government was amending the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act to reflect its policy position that the 51-49 percent requirement only applies to natural resource-based investments. In this investment area, which is classified as the natural resources sector, foreign investors are required to have 49 percent shareholding, while Zimbabweans own 51 percent.
The policy position is contained in a Presidential statement that was issued by former President Cde Robert Mugabe on April 11, 2016, where he clarified conflicting positions on the interpretation of the empowerment law.
Charamba told The Herald that the new President Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa instructed the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, yesterday that the law be urgently amended to reflect Government policy. In doing so, Mr Charamba said, President Mnangagwa emphasised that speed and urgency were of essence.
“One talking point especially on the investors world has always been related to the indigenisation law and we found ourselves in an invidious position where the law, as presently constructed, promised empowerment for the indigenes without delivering it on the other hand, while creating discomfort or even suspicion to would-be investors on the other,” he said.
“Either way, we remained with the paradox of a promise which could not be fulfilled and a need which could not be filled and this difficult situation did not arise from a lack of policy clarity on the part of the leadership.
If anything, that clarity was spelt out in black and white by the previous President, except that statement well-intentioned though it was, was not translated into law, which means on our statutes we still had the law unchanged.
“Thankfully, this morning, the new President instructed the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet (Dr Sibanda) to ensure that the Indigenisation Law is amended to reflect the correct position spelt out in the policy as agreed to by Cabinet, and he emphasised that time and speed are of essence.
The Cabinet Office is close to unveiling a new investment framework, which will be clear cut in terms of what’s on offer to both domestic and foreign investors.’’