Industry has lauded Zimbabweans for conducting themselves in a peaceful and mature manner during the whole campaign period until the commencement of voting yesterday and is pinning hopes for major economic turnaround after the harmonised polls.
Previous poll campaign periods have been characterised by some political skirmishes that at times disrupted business operations and food shortages and price hikes were also witnessed in some cases.
This election is coming at a time when the economy is emerging from the difficulties of the past two decades caused by sanctions and Zimbabweans conducted themselves in a manner that did not further complicate challenges businesses faced.
Policies enunciated by Government since November last year have seen industry ramping up capacity utilisation, with some sectors such as beverages and food increasing employment levels to meet demand.
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) says manufacturers are happy with the way the campaign and voting were conducted.
CZI president Mr Sifelani Jabangwe told Business Herald that the peaceful environment before, during and after polls were critical.
“For us the key issue is that the people have been calm in the campaign period, which is expected for there to be a credible election. So we are now expecting that the conduct and post-election period will also pass in the same way, and then we can return to work. We want the elections to be credible so that the re-engagement that we have with the rest of the world continues.
“We are quite happy that the Government has facilitated that the elections be held under such (peaceful) circumstances and all the other parties involved also observed peace.”
The CEO Africa round table also said the elections are “a significant confidence booster” if all citizens “choose Zimbabwe first”.
“The round table calls on the (Zimbabwe) Electoral Commission to work hard to deliver free, fair and credible elections.”
Due to the encouraging performance of companies since January, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has been overwhelmed by applications for foreign payments as firms seek to retool and boost their operations.
Government has also announced a raft of policy changes such as the amendment of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act to attract foreign investment and has since scrapped the prior need for foreign-owned investors to hold 49 percent in business ventures they initiate while locals got 51 percent save for the diamond and the platinum sectors.
The Diamond Policy, which will spell out a number of issues regarding the sector is under consideration.
Immediately after that, a Platinum Policy, with similar aspirations, would also be created.
Statistics show investment approvals between January and June 30 this year, are over $16 billion.
The indications are investment inquiries through the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) are likely to increase tremendously after this week’s harmonised elections.