HARARE – Service provision by most local institutions in Zimbabwe is still archaic and needs to improve if the country is sincere that it is open for business, Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda said on Tuesday.
Zimbabwe has experienced a massive decline in foreign direct investment over the past decade due to hostile media reports from some Western countries riled by the agrarian reforms that the country implemented in 2000.
But since assuming office in November last year, President Emerson Mnangagwa has preached the message that Zimbabwe was open for business and has promised swift reforms in the economy to lure investors.
One of the biggest changes made so far was scraping the indigenisation law and making it only applicable to investments made in platinum and diamond mining.
President Mnangagwa has said Zimbabwe was ready to welcome any investor willing to set up shop in the country.
But, despite that positive message, Mabvuku MP James Maridadi complained that most legislators were being frustrated by stringent demands made by banks for them to open an account into which Constituency Development Funds could be deposited.
“Mr Speaker all the honourable MPs in this house can vouch for me, there is not a single one of these MPs who was able to open a bank account within five working days. This is one area which the Ministry of Finance and those that in authority must really look at,” he said.
And, in response Mudenda said a change of mindset was required in all local institutions.
“What needs to happen is that I think our institutions including the banks need to be convinced and have a change of mindset,” he said.
“When His Excellency is saying Zimbabwe is open for business that is a contradiction because if Honorable Members by their very title are not honored and are tossed left, right and centre that shows that the culture is still very colonial.”
Mudenda promised to engage Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya over the matter. – New Ziana