By Hilary Mare
ZIMBABWEAN President Emmerson Mnangagwa has delivered a rallying call to business people in Namibia, to explore investment opportunities in his country, while outlining how his new administration has opened up the doors for business.
In his maiden trip to Namibia on Monday, in which he also exchanged bilateral talks with President Hage Geingob at State House, Mnangagwa highlighted that they have opened up opportunities, primarily in mining, infrastructure development, tourism and agriculture sectors.
Speaking specifically about mining, Mnangagwa highlighted that the government of Zimbabwe had rolled out measures that included the partial repeal of a controversial indigenisation law passed under former President Robert Mugabe that had limited foreign ownership of local businesses to 49 percent.
He added that only diamond and platinum mining will remain governed by this indigenisation law, opening up all other mineral investments for anyone willing to invest in exploration.
“Zimbabwe is now open for business and we want you to come and invest in the country and take this opportunity to partake in the rebuilding of the once great Zimbabwe. We have made important decisions to open up our market and in mining, for example, we have partially dealt away with the Indigenisation Act that was not investor-friendly,” highlighted Mnangagwa, while targeting potential investors residing in Namibia.
Zimbabwe has implemented a 100-day phase cycle for ministries to implement turnaround programs, in a bid to arrest the perilous economic situation that was unfolding in the country, which was once the breadbasket of Southern Africa.
Mnangagwa’s first trip to Namibia, following his inauguration on November 24, came just a month after the country’s Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa presented the 2018 budget, which included a raft of business and investor-friendly proposals, as well as plans to tackle corruption and waste.
Addressing the Zimbabwean business community on the same day, Chinamasa addressed the question of high taxes on business and individuals, which have also been the area of concern for investors over the past many years.
“We are going to address the issue of high tax, and for us to improve compliance of tax, we will have to lower the tax and we are going to get into that,” Chinamasa highlighted.
In his first speech as president, Mnangagwa emphasised his and Zanu-PF’s new commitment to growing the economy and creating jobs. “As we focus on recovering our economy, we must shed misbehaviours and acts of indiscipline, which have characterised the past. Acts of corruption must stop forthwith,” he said.
The Herald quoted him at the time as saying, “The many skilled Zimbabweans who have left the country over the years, for a variety of reasons, must now come into the broad economic calculus, designed for our recovery and take-off.”
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