'MDC chaos spooks investors'

HARARE - Veteran banker Nigel Chanakira says the leadership confusion in opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) will dampen investor confidence.

The Zimbabwe Investment Authority chairman, who is also founder of Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited – now AfraAsia Zimbabwe Holdings Limited – told Business Live, in his capacity as a businessman, that the party’s infighting will repel the urgently needed investment in the country.

“This confusion will not do any good to a country that is trying to desperately attract foreign direct investment (FDI),” he said.

“They should put their house in order and form a unified front for the sake of investor confidence. If it means they look for new leadership let it be so,” he added.

This comes as the MDC, the only opposition that has packed a punch at President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF, has of late been troubled with a splinter group led by secretary general Tendai Biti suspending party leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

In response, Tsvangirai expelled Biti and colleagues from the party.

Analysts have also warned of investors’ panic withdrawal from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange as Tsvangirai went on to call for mass action.

“The high stakes political drama at the main opposition party is definitely going to affect the economy and business as a whole because there is a close correlation between politics and economics,” said Takunda Mugaga, an independent economist.

He said the ‘expulsion and counter expulsions’ in the MDC was eliminating the system of checks and balances, adding that the party was “betraying investors as they have now made it easy for the ruling party to implement any economic reform they wish”.

“MDC has in the past been a stabilizer in international relations; case in point the land reform programme and the indigenisation policy. However, without the party the international community now feels a policy risk as the neutralization the opposition offered is now gone,” Mugaga said.

He also said scenario will create complex relations for investors “who do not like to work with Zanu PF”.

Issis Mwale, an economic analyst, also noted that the MDC break up is potentially toxic for a country emerging from an economic crisis.

“Tsvangirai needs to act because even donors are going to lose confidence,” she said.

Mwale said although Tsvangirai had given the people of Zimbabwe hope, it was quickly diminishing.

“All these squabbles… are scaring investors. FDI is a problem … Tsvangirai party instability has just earned itself a spot on the list of things repelling FDI,” she said.

This comes as the country is notorious for wanting to attract FDI but enacting laws that do not do much to attract it.

Among such laws is the indigenisation policy, compelling foreigners to cede 51 percent shareholding to black locals.

Economists say the country needs to “realign” the laws if it is to wriggle out of the economic quagmire.

Comments (14)

With the rate of company closures plus foreigners taking over shares in struggling local financial institutions, lack of FDIs, continuing liquidity crisis, trampling on property rights, none paid for seized former commercial farms, current underfunded subsistent farming, zero agro exports, haemoraging bourse, illegitimate gvt, none existent voters roll, broken ZEC computers, snubings by little Zambia, Moza, WB, IMF, China, Gaddafi now late even Mbasongo, debt overhangs, feasting on elephants while killing mice, buying cars, ministry of indegenizations, with zero indegenisation of funds on buying shares on the ZSE, Cash$berts getting no sacks while salaries will be trickling like current Harare city water tapes. Mango-Biti were so successful negotiators for GNU which was so successfully implemented and now its MRT who made the team loose, ndookugarira political nhanzwa manje uku breaking thru to Makoni North, Dande, Dinyane, Binga Beitbridge, Chingwizi camp, kuMashangwe, Maboleni, MatSouth. Biti-Man- go -man I wish you the best but welcome aboard political MH370.

L M. M T. Nyati - 4 May 2014

It is foolish for Chanakira to say the MDC must if possible select a new leader . We know fools like you are friends of Mubwidi Biti bcoz mdc does not need a new leader bcoz Morgan is there and the masses are behind this guy. How a an opposition party which is not in gvt scare away investors , What all zimbabweans know is that zanu scared away investors long ago , No sane investors will invest in this country for as long as zanu is stilll in power

Diibulaanyika - 4 May 2014

LM MT Nyati, well done I could not have said it better, Brilliant.

ronaldos - 4 May 2014

Dibulaanyika, you sound like Josef Goebbels,so very hateful of a people as if Biti represents all of Malawian descent. I am just very grateful, the Almighty kept the likes of you, furthest from the levers of power. otherwise some like us would wind up in the extermination chambers, nazi style. There is no logic in condemning a whole people for the perceived transgressions of a single man.

top heavy - 4 May 2014

Thank you Nigel for your comments. But our problems run deeper. The government needs to re-ignite economic confidence. Given the way we treated our friends with whom we had signed bilateral economic agreements it is little wonder even China is unwilling to take the risk. I think the architects of ZIMASSET need to sit down again but this time outside the limitations placed by party parameters to work out a new document. If it means Chinamasa, Jonathan Moyo, Hawkins, Robertson etc working together for the good of the country, let it be so. We will achieve nothing by looking only at history, blaming everybody and everything on colonialism, the white etc. When we begin to work, when we begin to address our weaknesses, when we consider our children's future ahead of short term gains; the world will notice, investors will notice and we can again move forward. The likes of Jabulani Sibanda may be great revolutionaries but it is time we give them their place in history, unlock the country and move forward.

Dr Tekere - 4 May 2014

Thank you Nigel for your comments. But our problems run deeper. The government needs to re-ignite economic confidence. Given the way we treated our friends with whom we had signed bilateral economic agreements it is little wonder even China is unwilling to take the risk. I think the architects of ZIMASSET need to sit down again but this time outside the limitations placed by party parameters to work out a new document. If it means Chinamasa, Jonathan Moyo, Hawkins, Robertson etc working together for the good of the country, let it be so. We will achieve nothing by looking only at history, blaming everybody and everything on colonialism, the white etc. When we begin to work, when we begin to address our weaknesses, when we consider our children's future ahead of short term gains; the world will notice, investors will notice and we can again move forward. The likes of Jabulani Sibanda may be great revolutionaries but it is time we give them their place in history, unlock the country and move forward.

Dr Tekere - 4 May 2014

The blame on why Investors have kept their distance should not be put on an opposition party's squabbles. If Chanakira has his own preferred leadership choice he should just come out clear. It's the bad policies and we would expect to hear that from a successful businessman like him. The blame game does not get us anywhere.

Dr Know - 5 May 2014

Tsvangirai anga akarongerwa zvechokwadi. Tsvangirai anopinda papi pa investor confidence, people who are sponsoring rebels are the ones causing that and how can Tsvangirai control them.

pagomo - 5 May 2014

How does Zimbabwe compare with Kenya, Nigeria, Libya, Egypt, Southern Sudan, Ukrain, Afghanistan, Iraq, DRC. The IMF just announced $17 billion loan to Ukraine. Am i missing something here?

Patrick M Utete - 5 May 2014

NIGEL....UTTER RUBBISH....THE PROBLEM IN THE OPPOSITION IS NOT AFFECTING THE GOVERNMENT......

silungisani ndlovu - 5 May 2014

Iwe chanakira uritsotsi ndokuziwa usape makoment asina basa iwe iwe uri imwe yembavha nyarara usiyane ma Morgan in Mdc we do not need a new leader go to ZANU PF they want a new leader 100% their leader is 90+ years not someone at 62years we are all some of the soil go and campaigbn in zanu pf go and join others leave morgan he cant scare any investor you are talking nonse you are a friend of bwidi

dofo - 5 May 2014

There will be an economic forum in Abuja for Africa I don't know if Zimbabwe will go because it has no economy to talk about. Vana vadiki vana Chankira vakaita mari vari vadiki vakufunga kuti mari ipfungwa kwete Nigel. Investor confidence was eroded by ZanuPF. You have to build confidence but once you lose it, it is difficult to rebuild. ZanuPF is a discredited organisation more of a terrorist organisation if it signs a peace treat check its bases it may be regrouping. No property rights, police running this country like a police state, newspapers reports appear to be in different countries some telling it as it is others try to sweet talk bad leaders, human rights a distant to be recognised, voters' roll in shambles and being abused to manipulate elections, and now you expect investors iwe Ngel, bvisa mari dzamurikupa vana Biti kuti vaite sabotage the people's project.

Maita Manyuka - 6 May 2014

Muzukuru waMurerwa uyu ngaatinyararire!! MDC ndiyo yadiii; Zimbabwe is the 1 which needs a new leader; not the opposition!

Chando - 6 May 2014

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