‘Shameful sanctions will not ground us’
Prosper Ndlovu in Chirumanzu
THE growing investment interest in Zimbabwe from non-Western sources of capital exposes the shameful and unilateral imposition of sanctions, which have failed to totally ground the country’s economy, President Mnangagwa has said.
In the context of the shift in historic global capital concentration from Western dominance and the emergence of alternative giants such as China, now the world’s second largest economy, Japan, India and Brazil, among others, Zimbabwe’s engagement and re-engagement policy has seen the country recording strides in enticing fresh investments in key projects despite sanctions.
This, aided with comprehensive economic reforms being championed by the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa, has strengthened the country’s economic resilience against the punitive measures, and other external shocks such as Covid-19 and prevailing geo-political complications like the Russia-Ukraine conflict, when compared to other regional peers.
The establishment of the US$1 billion Dinson Iron and Steel Plant in Manhize, Chirumanzu in the Midlands, the US$1.4 billion Hwange Power expansion’s 600MW project, growing exports to the region and Arab states like the United Arab Emirates (UAE), multi-million investment interests in lithium, agriculture, new coal to energy projects in Hwange and oil and gas projects, among others, are a bold demonstration of a country on the move.
“Those who imposed sanctions on us are wondering how we are progressing in spite of those sanctions? We shall progress and continue to progress. Zimbabwe shall rise and we are already rising,” said President Mnangagwa yesterday while addressing multitudes who came to witness the official ground breaking ceremony of the Dinson Iron and Steel Company (Disco) Industrial Park in Chirumhanzu’s Manhize area, Midlands Province.
“Zimbabwe is a roaring lion and will continue to roar. The roaring of a lion instills fear on those who are against us. Zimbabwe is rising, step by step, and stone upon stone we are building our great motherland.
“We remain emboldened by our philosophy, ‘Nyika inovakwa nevene bayo/Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabaninilo’ and the support we continue to get from strategic partners and friends such as those from the People’s Republic of China and other progressive nations. Our vision 2030 shall surely become a reality.”
The President’s remarks come at a time when other African leaders have individually, and through the African Union and SADC, boldly voiced their disdain for sanctions, whose strain is also being felt across the region. In support of Zimbabwe, the SADC bloc has set 25 October as the day of regional solidarity in lobbying for the removal of sanctions.
As such, President Mnangagwa said the US$1 billion Manhize project, in particular, was a big boost to the Second Republic’s infrastructure development drive as Zimbabwe seeks to revamp and modernise its national infrastructure for the benefit of its people. The project also bolsters the country’s focus to penetrate regional and global markets through enhanced trade and investment gains along the value chain.
However, while Zimbabwe is a friend to all and an enemy to none, it continues to bear the slow-down impact of illegal sanctions imposed by the United States of America and its West allies at the instigation of Britain in protest against the successful land reform programme at the turn of the millennium.
Without sanctions, the country would have progressed faster to become one of the elite economies than where it is now, said Cde Chris Mutsvangwa, former Zimbabwe Ambassador to China and now Zanu-PF party spokesperson in an interview after the event.
“Capital had become flat when sanctions were imposed on Zimbabwe in 2002 and the West had a monopoly and a stranglehold on global capital. Ever since, the world economy has grown and there are many new players who have come to the global stage.
“It’s a fact that China has become the second biggest economy in the World, contributing more than 30 percent of the world GDP growth per annum and it’s a huge market. In the tour of China is India with a big population and is also becoming an important player in the global economy. Then there is a whole retinue of other countries like Turkey, Brazil, Iran, Singapore and so on, who are now centres of capital,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.
“So, it’s no longer possible for one centre of capital no matter how dominant to have a stranglehold on the development prospects for other countries.”
He said Zimbabwe’s policy of being friendly to all and enemy to none has actually created a flat ground, a competing ground for capital from various corners of the world to come to Zimbabwe.
Since Zimbabwe is endowed with vast natural resources on demand in the world, Cde Mutsvangwa said there was competition from players in the global market to come and ply their trade in the country.
“So, the effect of sanctions is being lessened by two aspects – a more competitive and diverse global capital market and secondly a more creative leadership within Zimbabwe in the form of President E.D. Mnangagwa who is laying out the red carpet for competent investors to come to Zimbabwe to see what we offer and we’ve really a bonanza of offering to world capital and we are giving them a chance to show all their mettle in Zimbabwe,” he said.