Economy first, succession later: Chinamasa

Minister Chinamasa

Minister Chinamasa

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
ZIMBABWEANS should not focus on succession-related issues and personalities and direct their energy towards economic revival, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa has said.
Officially launching The Source, an online business news website on Friday last week, Minister Chinamasa said debate around succession was detrimental to economic development.

“There are activities which are happening which never get reported, including events which I officiate, no one is interested in that. Everyone is interested in succession issues and so forth — who is doing what to whom and so on. Now that does not build a country,” he said.

“It is very important for all of us, irrespective of political affiliation, irrespective of where you are coming from, to understand that the economy is all ours. It is our economy and it is for us to contribute constructively to its resuscitation, to its growth.
“If it is not resuscitated it means economic gloom for all of us.”

Minister Chinamasa said Zimbabwe had huge potential if people concentrated on the right things.
“The potential for this country is enormous. We do not have to be poor in the country if we do the right things, if we assist each other to come up with correct policies that will be conducive to foreign direct investment. The less we talk politics and more economics, the better. I would want to see, as we go into the future, more discussion not on personalities but ideas,” he said.

Minister Chinamasa urged Zimbabweans to portray their country in a positive light saying the media have an important role to play in reviving the economy.

“Visitors who come to Zimbabwe have a better perception about our country and ourselves than we ourselves. We speak so negatively about ourselves to the point where it is very dispiriting to say the least,” he said

“As Government we welcome any positive contribution in our efforts to revive our economy and the media have an important role to play in that regard. The contribution of the media to Zimbabwe’s story both on the political and economic front has not always been constructive
“What you write negatively about our country is amplified outside and where-ever I am going instead of talking and discussing business I am made to explain stupid reports made elsewhere about my country which have no basis.

“Infact, that is what bleeds my heart.”
He said the Zim-Asset economic blueprint adopted by Government required contribution from everyone for it to succeed.

“The Government has anchored its economic programmes for the next five years on the Zim-Asset. The Zim-Asset was crafted to achieve sustainable development and social equity anchored on indigenisation, empowerment and employment creation.

“We should be driven by the judicious exploitation of the country’s human and natural resources
“For Zim-Asset to succeed Government ministries and agencies, the private sector and the nation at large have to work in tandem not at cross purposes, we should work together.

“We should all realise that we are all Zimbabweans,” he said.
Minister Chinamasa defended Government’s indigenisation policy, saying the programme was not unique to Zimbabwe and had been adopted in many countries. “Indigenisation is not unique to Zimbabwe, only the word is unique. In other countries they call it localisation and so forth.

“What we are merely saying is that until local population has greater local participation in the economy in terms of ownership, in terms of management, we have no economy.

“How we do it we may argue but there is need for escalating local participation in management and ownership,” said Minister Chinamasa.
He reiterated that the Zimbabwean dollar will not reintroduced in the foreseeable future saying the local currency will only return if a number of macroeconomic fundamentals are corrected.

This, he explained, included building reserves for foreign currency and minerals such as gold or diamonds.

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  • Dr G

    cde Chinamasa how do u separate the two. the zim govt is run by the party and the party leader is also the head of government so the 2 are intertwined. if we had a prime minister heading govt business and president heading party then what u saying would make a lot of sense.in our case the succession issue is the key to our economic success. once the succession issue is cleared, it will give clarity to investors and remove fear of the unknown in the event God forbid something happens to our dear leader while in office. so that being said, the succession issue if handled well is the key to economic success.

    • Kusvikazvanaka

      This minister seems to forget that the economy has become a “Tout and Vendor” one due to the succession saga. We need to change the top then the bottom will follow suit. We need to talk politics for everything else hinges on it in Zimbabwe.

      • mpengo

        That said,the people who are really worried about succession are not really Zimbabweans at large.

        Yes we are concerned but not fueling any form of debate or fight for some candidate or another. It’s a ZANUPF affair.

        We have no voice on that choice. The internal conflicts on succession are ZANUPFs. The ordinary folk, ie Zimbabweans, can only observe and comment.

        So Chinamasa should go and address his ZANUPF crew as the rest of us have no influence on their internal scrambles for power.

    • Gonzo ndishefu

      What you are saying is utter nonsense,are you suggesting that we should choose a new president when shefu is still in power? Even in developed countries they don,t elect a new leader before the term of office, of the incumbent expires.Why are businesses in the US not reluctant to invest because they don,t know who will be the president after Obama?If you are a real dr i feel sorry for your patients,saka vanaShefu vachizoramba kurapwa muno.You should call prof Madhuku to help understand our constitution,all your worries are addressed,the VP steps in if something happens to the president,there after elections are held to elect a new leader.For ZANU PF we will have a congress and it is only then, that succession will be addressed by the delegates who will choose the next leader.So take it easy.So all these camps doesn,t mean anything Gushungo said it very clear a leader comes from the pple.In the mean time help resolve succession in your MDC T where the real succession battle is brewing.

      • Masimba

        I beg to differ. Look at Delta, for 3 years they groomed their successor to take over Joe Mtizwa once he had retired. If you do ISO 9001, which is a standard that applies to any functional organization, its is very important to have a succession in place. It’s effects stability and continuity. Gushungo can rule for 100 more years, but he should make it clear that once his gone people know who to turn too. The party ‘shows’ Mai Mujuru but if you go to congress and the provinces vote for another then does stay on as party leader? What effect with it have to be president but not leader of your party? The same party that controls government. Look at the ruling party in China, they had a 10 year succession plan that was properly managed. 10 years!!!

      • madzibaba Ishumairai

        The constitution is clear about succession the Vice President takes over in the event of the failure by the President due to death, ill-health completes the term of office there is no provision for elections Mai Mujuru is the current Vice President and I don’t see where the confusion is emanating from and for the avoidance of doubt Gonzo no elections will be conducted.

        • mpengo

          Then this debate is not for you. It is clearly over your head.

          That’s not the matter at hand.

    • Pro-Businss

      well said!

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      Shrewd and clever businesspeople cannot wait until they know who will succeed our dear leader if he is not elected or does not offer himself to continue after 2018.! They cannot seat there blaming the people of Zim for electing their leader who has his term until 2018. Cde Chinamasa is saying the issue of succesion is irrelevant . People will decide in 2018!
      Satanic minded people deriving their devilish guidance from the disgraced Bishop Ncube ,still imagine our dear leader`s premature death. How many times have they reported about his death in vain? Only God knows when he will be called to heaven! For now the focus should be Zim ASSET!
      The reason why our economy cannot recover easily is becoz of sanctions.The succesion issue is not on the agenda of the ZANUPF and the country! It must be clear to the West and their stoogies in MDC, that who ever will succeed Cde Mugabe in future , he/she will not deviate from our revolutionary thrust for economic democracy. Investors should therefore be guided accordingly!

  • Kewkwe326

    The minister cannot possibly argue that the current uncertainty over the succession isn’t a major factor in the economy. Investors need to know what sort of government they are going to be dealing with two, three or five years hence; we don’t have that now.

    • Makusakatara

      KewKwe326;

      I think Gonzo, above, clearly articulated the issue of who the investors are “going to be dealing with (in) two, three or five years”. He said that if the President is incapacitated and is unable to continue in office, the constitution provides for the Vice President to take over.

      I do not think that is difficult, for you or any other person for that matter, to understand. When the Vice President of the same party that is in power takes over, it means the same policies continue for the remaining period of the term and thereafter an elections is held.

      It is not true, therefore, that there is “uncertainty over the succession” in Zimbabwe. What we will not do, however, is to try and please you by pointing at someone as a successor when a leader, in the revolutionary party, is supposed to come from the people.

      The people, as the President has repeatedly said over and over again, will decide who will succeed him when the time comes.

      • jojo

        The constituition is clear on succession, then at the end you are saying its the people who will decide!! You are confused I think! M

  • Judas Iscariot

    Investments are for the future so it is important for investors to be assured,that we have a plan, for whats going to happen once the president is gone.Right now it sounds like our country might decent into total chaos with reports of divisions and camps fighting to make sure their candidate is next in line.So the sooner we address this issue the better, then pple can focus on other things. Herald has to stop focusing their attention on Tsvangirai who is not in govt and spent more time covering your events.As for visitors having a better perception about our country,thats to be expected a lot of them stay in hotels where they have running water and electricity,so for them life is good.Zimbabweans are simply being more realistic.

    • Makusakatara

      Judas;

      You, yourself Judas, I am sure, have no problems with the succession issue or rather about who succeeds President R.G. MUGABE when he retires. What you are unconsciously doing is to do the bidding for imperialists who have a certain model of a person they want for President in Zimbabwe.

      Where on this earth don’t you have “camps fighting to make sure their candidate is next in line”? The belief that this country will decent into chaos once President R.G. MUGABE leaves office, whether through retirement or some other way, is just what it is – a misplaced belief. It is, indeed, true that you can believe what you want and work towards making sure that it comes true.

      However, let me assure you that in Zimbabwe NOTHING of that sort will happen. The transition is going to be VERY SMOOTH and there is going to be continuation of President R.G. MUGABE’s policies. Thus, if you are an investor and you do not like our current policies, then PLEASE do not bother coming to Zimbabwe.

      This is why Minister Chinamasa clearly explained to you that if you fear the indigenous policy then you should rest be assured that it is here to stay – whether President Mugabe is there or not. It will be there after him because it is the right thing to do – to indigenise the economy – and ALL countries of the world have this policy.

      It is only the name that changes whereby while we call it INDIGENISATION, other prefer to call it “LOCALISATION” or “LOCAL PARTICIPATION”.

      • Mhunhu

        Continuation of Mugabe policies means the continuation of economic decline.

    • Sifiso Xolile Ndlovu Zgwanyanw

      @ Judas Iscariot, with the serious divisions in ANC and the breaking away of a faction to become the 3rd political force in South Africa as everyone knows, investors continue to invest in the SA Economy. In the US, if you think that democratic leaders are not ambitious and divided then you are living in a dream. In Zimbabwe, until 2018, the government policies will not change, it is the same government regardless of which individual heads it. Policy is bigger than an individual. If the policies are not investor friendly, the thing to do is to start campaigning for a new government with different policies post 2018, not to canvas support for the succession of an individual to occupy the same office. It is like hoping for MDC to elect a new leader who is anti west, it just won’t happen. Change the government through the ballot or work with what you have, it is really a simple matter. The Chinese, I find to be quite smart about politics; they work with whoever is in power. The West prefers to work with whomever they can keep on a leash hence the perpetual myth of the uncertainty in the economy until their chosen proxy becomes leader.

  • Ndareva

    Foolish Minister, the growth of ZIm economy rests on who is on the helm of the ruling party. Investor confidence and citizens trust can be restored or broken by such!

  • idi amin

    Another warped view cde pats. The fact that succession is the subject on pples minds shld tell you that, is the key issue/story NOT wat you want! Try handle the succession first and see wat happens, coz this other issue u have tinkered wth it left right up down wthout success! dont dictate wat shld be the issue here try following the hints for a change, hey you might just be the saviour we have been waiting for.

  • Tarubva

    Finally, the real causes of the economy rot are coming out, slowly but surely. Thank you minister for dropping the sanctions mantra, and correctly identifying corruption and succession battles in ZANU PF as the chief causes of our downfall. The sanctions mantra is now only left with people like Mzvinavhu, Jotham, Makusakatara, and all of that type!

    • Gonzo ndishefu

      Tarubva don,t try to put words in cde Chinamasa,s mouth,the minister never spoke about what caused the economy to go down hill,we can debate about that all day long.Some of us know its the illegal sanctions that were meant to cause suffering among ordinary citizens hoping it might force pple to revolt against the govt and help bring in a puppet govt.It almost worked out in 2008, but Zimbabweans quickly came back to their senses and realized they were about to give back the country to our former colonizers who were using chematama and his MDC T as a front. Remember the whites trying to use the same tactic using Abel Mozorewa soon after independence?The minister is saying now all that is water under the bridge,lets hear what pple like you have to offer,how can we make the country better, other than kissing the west,s behinds like MDC T want us to do? What are your solutions other than just your usual misplaced rants? If you don,t come on board soon you are going to be left out.Zimasset has something for every Zimbabwean who is willing to contribute. If you are dreaming of the days when the whites are going to be running our country again,those days are gone for good.Zimbabwe will never be a colony again never ever.

      • babasviri

        Uri kudya bhururu

      • Tarubva

        Gonzo, are you seriously saying corruption in the upper echelons of power isn’t the largest single factor bringing this economy down? If so, then we are really in big trouble, what with people like you in our midst who are so brainwashed by propaganda!

    • Makusakatara

      Tarubva;

      All the Minister is saying is that while SANCTIONS are there and biting; let’s not, as Zimbabweans – especially those in ZANU-PF – aide the enemy by focusing on non-issues instead of focusing on ECONOMIC SANCTIONS that are cruelly, evilly, and racially crippling, devastating and dehumanising our people.

      The Minister clearly stated that wherever he goes, he is diverted from the core issue of fighting for the removal of sanctions or calling for investments in the country by people who start asking about what our own people are saying.

      The Minister is clearly saying that while we should discuss politics as it relates to succession, we should not do it at the expense of the more fundamental issues of development and service provision to our people as well as the fight against economic sanctions.

  • Mari

    Economic Growth= Zero
    GDP=Zero
    Employment=Zero

  • Col Madzima(retired)

    Rather say Corruption First ,Succession later and Economy NEVER,We are screwed

  • Ndini

    Any serious person in the world will tell you there is no way we can talk about economic stability and growth thereof before settling the cactus leadership issue. Zimbabwe has been for a long time a political risk to investors so this matter is more serious than we perceive you take it. Rest assured there shall be no other interest, naturally, until this succession matter is settled Cde.

  • Kurrupt

    Unfortunately Mr Chinamasa for ZIMBABWE Economy and Succession are inseparable as the politics of the country stand today. What should come first the chicken or the egg is what you are doing

  • Zimba

    “Visitors who come to Zimbabwe have a better perception about our
    country and ourselves than we ourselves. We speak so negatively about
    ourselves to the point where it is very dispiriting to say the least,”
    This is bcoz those visitors doesn’t know you. They know nothing about our gvt. Those visitors haven’t gone to seek medication from a Hospital with a medical aid that doesn’t work. A gvt that that is killing Industry, producing nothing in farms, exporting nothing, looting diamonds, protecting corrupt senior gvt officials, failing to pay civil servants etc
    You are doing nothing guys, pple will only say something when you hv done it. Honestly munoda kukoreswa pachii? Chii chamaitira nyika. You ar doing all for your families not the Country. get praises from your wifes, sons and daughters.

  • rony

    Zimbabwe is bigger than any personality each person has his
    time but our country will remain stop associating the country with anyone or
    party because they will pass away and Zimbabwe will remain. We had Mbuyanehanda,
    Lobengula, Cecil John Rhodes, Charles Coghlan, Godfrey Huggins, Garfield Todd, Sir
    Edgar Whitehead, Ian Smith , Ndabaningi Sithole,Muzorewa,Joshua Nkomo and many
    others but where are there now? No one knows but what we all know is Zimbabwe is
    still in existence.

  • Takesure

    Thank you sir the economy is ours

  • tichaon

    Thanks Minister for the words of wisdom, we are at the hour of economic revival and not political revival, we have leaders in place, elections are over and we need to be focussed on the right thing and not behave as if we have elections next month, as for journalism, it must be constructive rather than destructive, the outside world loses respect for us and withdraws its investments. We are shooting ourselves in the foot, we had negative articles sometime back that it is not safe to invest in Zimbabwe, it is like going into a crocodile infested area, negative, negative, negative, negative, lets write articles that encourage investors for the good of our nation at large. A good economy is good for all Zimbabweans regardless of religion, race or political affiliation. Thanks Minister for breaking the ice, for being bold in this respect.

  • Sponono

    Zvozodii ko kana mataura politics dzacho? Maane makore muchinggodzitaura. Talk money talk sense not nonsense

  • makwavarara

    Whats wrong with succession first and economy later advocated by many?

  • leemoyo

    CDE Chinamasa how do we fix economy with same head of state who failed for 34 yrs and ministers like u have been recycled so many times. Look at yourself minister, do u really think u did a good service to Zmbabwe???.

  • goodluck

    potential and realistic leader. because we all eat the economy, so if the minister gives preference to economy, he is the best candidate to lead nation