Innocent Ruwende and Timo Shihepo
Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan Province Miriam Chikukwa has urged foreign and local investors to take advantage of the new political dispensation to create business synergies as it is now easy to do business in the country.
Speaking at the inaugural stakeholder consultative meeting on the branding of Harare Metropolitan Province, Minister Chikukwa said President Mnangagwa intimated that the country was turning a new leaf in governance and engagement with the international community.
“Let us take full advantage of the new political dispensation under which His Excellency President Mnangagwa has created enthusiasm and interest among various stakeholders by indicating that Zimbabwe has serious intentions to change its way of doing business through the creation of a more friendly business environment,” she said.
“The Office of President and Cabinet is currently spearheading an all stakeholder process for a national branding strategy that is aimed at informing the world that Zimbabwe is open for business including tourism and has functional institutions to support the exploitation of business and investment opportunities.”
She said Harare, as the capital, was the seat of Government and a financial hub hence it should produce a unique brand, which the nation will be proud of. Director for Provincial Affairs for Harare Metropolitan Province Mr Jabulani Ndebele said the main objective of the branding strategy was to create a “brand or brands”.
“We have to portray ourselves as a province that is guided in its operations by modern administrative structures that follow an investment framework that recognises the advent of Information Communication Technology, good corporate governance and international standards and practices among other dispensations,” he said.
“We therefore need to create a brand strategy for Harare Metropolitan Province that will set us apart from the other nine provinces.”
Zimbabwe Union of Drivers and Conductors president Mr Fradreck Maguramhinga said there was need to restore sanity in the capital.
“There is no rebranding without attending to transport issues. The transport sector is the backbone of every industry and determines the growth of our country or even the province. Those involved in the public transport sector should be involved in the rebranding exercise,” he said.
Other stakeholders said the Metropolitan Province, which comprises Harare, Chitungwiza, Ruwa and Epworth needs to address housing backlogs, water supply issues, the vendor menace, street kids, pirate taxis and kombis, illegal settlements and land barons.