Parliament aims to make laws investor-friendly

Parliament will soon update Zimbabwean laws and make them attractive to both local and foreign investors, according to the speaker for the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda.

“Our laws should be changed for the better to uplift citizens’ lives.” – Jacob Mudenda.
“Our laws should be changed for the better to uplift citizens’ lives.” – Jacob Mudenda.

Speaking at the recent signing of memorandums of understanding with the Southern Africa Parliamentary Support Trust and Women in Politics Support Unit, Mudenda said Zimbabwe would come up with laws that would help encourage investment in the country as soon as possible.

“Our laws should be changed for the better to uplift citizens’ lives,” Mudenda said, noting that the laws should help accelerate exploration of the country’s mineral resources with the assistance of investors. Parliament would ensure the country’s mineral wealth was audited before new explorations were made.

Mudenda said the eighth parliament (2013-2018) would be development-oriented and put into practice the Zanu (PF) government’s economic blueprint, Zim-Asset.

Mountains would be moved to turn around the fortunes of Zimbabweans, according to Mudenda. The need for partnership with civil society and citizens was noted, since Parliament did not have adequate resources to carry out its work.

At the moment, Zimbabwe indigenisation laws make it mandatory for foreign-owned firms to hand over a 51 per cent stake to locals. Companies in the mining, banking and retail sectors, are the main targets of this black empowerment policy.

Economist Eric Bloch described the indigenisation policy as a blow to efforts to revive the economy, if the laws remained unattractive to investors.

Economist John Robertson said: “Zimbabwe laws should be juicy enough to attract direct foreign investment and create employment.”

According to the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), the British deputy ambassador to Zimbabwe, Chris Brown, told delegates at the recent ZNCC Economic Symposium held in Harare that: “An increasing number of British investors are interested in venturing into Zimbabwe but remained worried about the perceived lack of respect for property rights and uncertain business climate.”

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