Zimbabwe to reengage with nations, end disputes

A day after ensuring free and fair elections in five months to engage the world as a qualified democratic state, Zimbabwe vowed to mend fences with nations and comply with international obligations.

Addressing a preparatory meeting with the business community for the World Economic Forum (WEF) to be held in Davos, Switzerland, next week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa (pictured) said on Thursday that the manner in which Zimbabwe previously managed its politics nationally and internationally led the country to be labelled as a high risk pariah State.

Zimbabwe is a member of the global community and it cannot go it alone. It has to take definitive steps to settle its debts and enter into new relationships, he said.

Mnangagwa urged the media not to be obsessed with politics, instead focus more on positive changes happening in the country. For instance, media can highlight the new government’s fight against corruption that exists in various forms in almost all spheres of life.

Mnangagwa said the corrupt will not be spared wherever they are and however powerful they be. He warned them to mend their ways or face justice.

At the preparatory meeting, Mnangagwa also released a document titled ‘Investment guidelines and opportunities in Zimbabwe’ that sets out the country’s new economic order aimed at improving the well-being of Zimbabweans.

The government is willing to get into Public Private Partnerships with both local and foreign investors. A legal framework by the way of the Joint Ventures Act has already been put in place to facilitate such partnerships, he said.

Addressing a business meeting in Namibia’s capital Windhoek on Monday, Zimbabwean Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said his government will lower taxes for foreign investors in an attempt to lure foreign direct investment.

Last year, the World Bank had ranked Zimbabwe 159 out of 190 on the ease of doing business global index.

Potential investors are wary of Harare’s inconsistent views on indigenisation laws that required ceding majority ownership to locals. The law has been relaxed since but doubts remain with potential investors like Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote.

But South African businessman Robert Gumede has expressed his willingness to invest $1.2-billion (R15-Billion) to help the Mnangagwa’s government to achieve its short-term goals of turning around the economy.