Top lawyer slams World Bank report

Top corporate lawyer, Edwin Manikai of Dube Manikai and Hwacha Legal Practitioners, has accused World Bank’s Doing Business Report of dishonesty in its assessment of Zimbabwe.

“I told them that the report does not consider the fact that things are working in Zimbabwe,” Manikai told more than 100 local and international business executives gathered in Harare for a recent “Improving the business climate in Zimbabwe workshop”.

“Things work here. Our Zimbabwe Investment Authority works. Roads work. The telecommunications system works. So I do not know why we are rated so lowly in the report by the World Bank.In fact I have told them to look at it again because it is unfair on Zimbabwe which is trying its best to recover,” said Manikai.

The report considers numerous factors, among them the period taken to start a business in the country, how to register a property as well as the political and economic environment.

CemileHacibeyoglu, the Financial and Private Sector Development Director, represented the World Bank at the workshop.

“Zimbabwe must do better,” she said. “We judge what we see but I think if the country follows what is being suggested here by delegates, the country can go up the ladder.”

Zimbabwe Business Council president David Govere told delegates the business community should not underestimate the critical situation and “the urgency of this scenario with formal employment below 30 percent and overall industry’s capacity utilisation below 50 percent”.

“Foreign Direct Investment levels are very low, exports fall far below imports and the non engagement of multilateral institutions as well as the crippling effects of sanctions are affecting us all here. The Doing Business Ranking Index has sufficiently pointed out the areas where we are weakest and government, business and labour must all seriously look at addressing the issues that have kept this economy down for so long,” said Govere.

On poverty levels and disposable income from six countries in southern Africa, Zimbabwe and Malawi are rated the lowest with about $60 billion FDI reported in 2009.

Post published in: Business

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