President, business in historic interface

President Mugabe,  First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe, Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr Mike Bimha, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Mr Sifelani Jabangwe and Mr Charles Msipa during a meeting with Business Executives at State House yesterday. Picture by John Manzongo

President Mugabe, First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe, Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr Mike Bimha, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Mr Sifelani Jabangwe and Mr Charles Msipa during a meeting with Business Executives at State House yesterday. Picture by John Manzongo

Felex Share Senior Reporter—
President Mugabe yesterday held a historic interface with the private sector to exchange views on economic turnaround and map the way forward. The meeting — held at State House in Harare — was initiated by captains of industry and is in line with Zim-Asset and the 10-Point Plan for Economic Growth, which stress the need for close collaboration between Government and the private sector.A similar meeting was last held in 2007. Yesterday’s indaba was attended by representatives of business associations like the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ), Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (CoMZ), Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU), Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) and Zimbabwe Council for Tourism.

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Cabinet ministers and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya were also present as the two parties sought to exchange views for economic growth. In his remarks, the President said cooperation between Government and the private sector had brought success stories in the economy.

“Such cooperation is largely responsible for the phenomenal success of the Command Agriculture Production Programme, which in a single season, has enabled Zimbabwe to regain its food security,” he said.

“The private sector is thus enjoined to support the expanded version of the Command Agriculture programme by, inter alia, ensuring the timeous supply of critical inputs such as seed, fertilisers and chemicals at affordable prices.”

President Mugabe said to bridge the existing infrastructure gap, Government would continue prioritising the implementation of infrastructure development projects covering transport, energy, water and housing.

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In the transport sector, he said, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo “was not sleeping and always updating him” on progress made on various projects.

“Work is under way to ensure the recently launched Beitbridge-Masvingo-Harare-Chirundu dualisation programme, is completed within the shortest possible time frame,” said President Mugabe.

“At the same time, plans for the expansion of the Harare-Nyamapanda and the Beitbridge-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls roads are also under active consideration. Government is also rehabilitating urban and rural infrastructure damaged by the recent floods.

“The commissioning of the Victoria Falls, Joshua Mqabuko International airports had already triggered an upsurge in inbound tourist arrivals. Focus is now on expansion of Harare International Airport.”

In the energy sector, President Mugabe said: “Work is under way to complete the Kariba South project and commence construction of Hwange 7 and 8 projects.

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“Domestic power generation will also be augmented through the incorporation of independent power producers, focusing on hydro and solar energy. Such programmes should eventually result in the reduction of local power generation deficit and cost of power.”

President Mugabe said the private sector was expected to play a part in the utilisation of the recently commissioned Tokwe Mukosi Dam. He said there were irrigation, power generation, tourism and fisheries opportunities at the country’s largest inland water body.

“To bolster value addition and beneficiation, private sector players in the mining sector are encouraged to invest in refineries and smelting plants and other appropriate machinery and equipment,” said President Mugabe.

“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has laid the foundation in this respect by coming up with a string of financing facilities for small scale miners.” Special Economic Zones, President Mugabe said, should provide impetus to domestic and foreign direct investment. He said after clearing its debts with the International Monetary Fund, Government was working on settling dues with other multilateral creditors. Representing the private sector, Mr Charles Msipa, said they enjoyed access to and dialogue with policy makers.

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“We have always had an input in policy formulation and through this meeting we are supplementing an existing process,” he said Mr Msipa bemoaned the high cost of doing business in Zimbabwe, at the same time calling for policy coherence and consistency from Government.

“There is need for Government to prioritise investment, harmonise investment laws, as well as create a one-stop shop,” he said. Mr Msipa said such high-level engagements should be held at least twice a year.

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  • Cde Chirikuutsi Wasu

    Stop involving yourself in our ZANU PF government issues you stooge of the West. In what capacity are you asking?

    • zimbotry

      This is a Lady likely to face criminal charges should she return to South Africa. We have every right to question her presence anywhere near Government

      • Goritoto LP

        really! SA courts have more pressing issues. like the 984 fraud charges against Zuma.

    • succuba

      You didn’t seem to get round to answering the question… why would that be “Cde”?

  • haiwawo

    Kupedza nguva, kuchera mvura ngetswanda.

  • Gary WekuZviyambe

    Zvigotipeiko?

  • yowe

    Hahahahaha YOWE!!!!!

  • yowe

    Just another useless speech lets move on rate rakamira sei nhasi vakomana timboruka mari…Famba empowerment

  • yowe

    Ngwena is suffering everyday you have to be among people who hate you kkkkkk Yowe!!!

  • succuba

    Why?

    • gerro

      She us a Business Lady..the whole World knows that

  • succuba

    My my gerro… did I touch a nerve?

  • Tarubva Chibva

    1. The last time such a meeting was held was in 2007 and a year later there was the economic implosion of 2008! Supposing the interface was important, should it be done once in 10 years?
    2. Turn-around of ECONOMY? Has the Govt ever accepted the meltdown? Is the bloated Cabinet able to decipher reasons of our economic problems other than the relentless rehearsal of the SANCTION EXCUSE?
    3. The President is having fortnightly praise and worship sessions with Kudzai Chipanga et al. Does he think these kids who are evidently high on weed will help the economy by gathering them at some nonsensical rallies?

  • Matsimba

    It appears as if the captains of industry were paying a courtesy call to His Excellence, who didn’t waste time and started lecturing to them about government’s policy thrust. However, the next meeting should be structured this way; The captains of industry should set the agenda, and the main items dominating that agenda should be revamping Beit Bridge port of entry, increase the competitiveness of the country’s industry, finalization of the land tenure framework with a view of restoring the collateral value of land, reduction of government deficit, stamping out all forms of corruption in public and private sectors, opening up markets through scrapping out all hindrances to private enterprise, among other sector specific issues. His Excellence should listen attentively and carefully and promise the captains of industry that on the next meeting, which should be held on monthly basis, he will detail point by point how government is seized with addressing those issues. If Government has issues, then they will also detail those issues and likewise captains of industry will address them. It’s only in that spirit that we can move forward as a nation.

  • tapuwamukuruvambwa

    So the law prohibiting foreigners in retail, wholesale etc which was to enpower locals
    cannot be enforced.

  • Goritoto LP

    is she not the owner of Alpha&Omega and a Private School?

  • gerro

    ###..Mai Mugabe runs a major business Empire in her Native Zimbabwe. mmm it’s called Alpha & Omega..why do we have to respond to SETTLERS crap anyway?

  • succuba

    Are you a racist gerro?