An impediment to growth

The staging in Johannesburg this week of a conference to drum up support for the ailing Zimbabwean economy is great news. We commend our friends at The Economist for taking this bold initiative on behalf of our country.

The conference is set to ask and hopefully answer some tough questions. Such as: Will there be a real recovery?, How long will it take? and How can we reverse the brain drain?

The organisers aim to trigger fresh thinking about the recovery of Zimbabwes economy and, as a consequence, help remove an impediment to growth in Africa as a whole. Wonderful!

May we urge the Zimbabwe government seriously to consider the many ways in which it is itself an impediment to growth, and the governments of the entire region to consider the extent to which their steadfast refusal to enforce the implementation of the GPA (which they have guaranteed) is a further impediment, condemning SADC, if not Africa as a whole, to continued under-development and consequent widespread poverty.

For starters, the government should re-consider the manner in which they treat businessmen. Let us not forget that, throughout the region as well as further afield, many Zimbabwean businessmen are highly creative, successful, experienced and accomplished.

So why is our economy not enjoying the fruits of this? Because our government persecutes successful businessmen who dare to express individual opinions; who dare to be successful outside the Zanu (PF) patronage system; who dare to suggest that perhaps President Robert Mugabe is not the ideal person to rule Zimbabwe forever.

James Mushore, Strive Masiyiwa, Gilbert Muponda to name only a very few are all operating successful businesses outside Zimbabwe. They are creating employment outside Zimbabwe. They are paying taxes outside Zimbabwe.

The government should be fostering our home-grown entrepreneurs, instead of destroying them and grabbing the fruits of their endeavours to satisfy its own avaricious appetites.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

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