The year 2016 seems to have started well with the two key investment ministries reading from the same text. The Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa and his Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment counterpart Patrick Zhuwao appeared to differ on the indigenisation and empowerment policy framework and last week had to cancel a media briefing they had planned together.
The ministers have now found each other under the direct supervision of Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko. On Monday the two ministers together with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya held a joint Press conference to unveil the new indigenisation framework designed in line with Zim-Asset and the 10-point Plan for Economic Growth.
Minister Zhuwao said they had now agreed on procedures and guidelines for implementing the indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act as directed by Cabinet.
“As we move forward, the emphasis is on implementation of the indigenisation law starting with the submission of the indigenisation implementation plan, which every company affected should submit as soon as possible but no later than March 31, 2016.,” said Minister Zhuwao.
He said compliance with the indigenisation law was the cornerstone of government policy. Minister Zhuwao said models that allowed the achievement of Zim-Asset goals within the legislative framework of the indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act would be developed with respective line ministries.
Minister Chinamasa said there has been a robust debate before an agreement was reached on the framework. “We have now come up with an improved product which is very conducive for investment,” he said.
Minister Chinamasa said this was a milestone in the turnaround of the economy. He said he and his counterpart had closed ranks to emphasise implementation.We want to applaud the two ministers for allowing reason to prevail over personal ego.
The ministers’ differences obviously sent wrong signals to potential investors and it is our fervent hope that Cabinet ministers will from now on resolve such differences behind closed doors.
Cabinet meets almost every Tuesday and it is in Cabinet that such diferences should be thrashed out. When ministers come out of Cabinet, they should speak with one voice and avoid issuing out conflicting policy statements that confuse potential investors.
Ministers Chinamasa and Zhuwao provided unnecessary fodder to government and the country’s detractors that always celebrate the infighting in government.
All Cabinet ministers, we want to believe, appreciate the importance of improving the ease of doing business in order to attract Direct Foreign Investment and any individual that wants to put spanners in the works should be exposed.