Shamiso Makiwa Herald Reporter
Zimbabweans from all walks of life are looking forward to a prosperous 2016 following the signing of various investment deals between Zimbabwe and China among other investors.
The deals, worth billions of dollars, Zimbabweans are optimistic, will have downstream benefits to local entrepreneurs.
In November last year, Zimbabwe penned 12 landmark deals with China during a two-day State visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The Russians and a Nigerian business magnet, Mr Aliko Dangote, whose team has already registered a company in Zimbabwe, want to make huge investments in the country.
Feeling left out, the Americans and the British have also expressed interest to register their presence in Zimbabwe despite their governments imposing the illegal sanctions on the country.
Most of the Chinese and Dangote Group deals are to become operational during the first quarter of this year.
In an interview yesterday, political analyst Mr Alexander Rusero, said following the signing of the mega deals, expectations for a bright future were high.
He, however, said energy should now be directed towards the implementation of the deals and all bottlenecks needed to be removed.
“We want to see the implementation of the deals signed between Zimbabwe and various countries that include Germany and China,” he said.
“If they were genuine, we want to see further development and implementation of the said things. We want to know where we are now in terms of what was reported on last year.”
Pastor Ephraim Dube of the Apostolic Church of Pentecost said: “If Zimbabweans should keep praying and hoping that all will be well in 2016. Already God has flooded the nation with a unique sense of peace which we should all maintain.”
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) chief executive officer Mr Chris Mugaga was of a different view.
He said 2016 was not a promising year following the dry spell experienced in the country.
“We are facing risk of importing goods from countries that are not friendly because our neighbours such as South Africa and Zambia are also facing drought.
“Rain shortage is going to have an impact on agriculture and manufacturing industry.
“We need to move from rhetoric to reality and the Government needs to do a follow-up on all signed deals and 2016 has to be a year of implementation as we are at risk because of the dry season.”
But Mr Godfrey Chakwana, a cattle farmer in Masvingo, said the implementation of the deals this year was “definitely” going to have a positive impact on the economy.
“We want our people to get most of the jobs, for example dualisation of roads should benefit people in the areas the roads pass through. For those non-technical jobs, surely people in these areas should be given first priority,” he said.