'Zim needs political will'

HARARE - Zimbabwe needs political will to improve the country’s deteriorating business environment, government’s Doing Business Committee (DBC) says.

DBC was set up by Industry minister, Mike Bimha, in August to probe factors dampening the country’s ‘ease of doing business’ and come up with recommendations.

However, Maureen Chitehwe, DBC chairperson, said “after all has been said and done…what comes out of our efforts is that political will is critical”.

She said, the committee’s view, is that “there is no need to keep forming committees, (but) it’s time to roll our sleeves and get the job done”.

“Our view is that without political will, we will continue to set up ad hoc committees that will evaluate the work of sub committees that were set up to research on committees, which were defined by committees, but needed advice from a committee whose mandate was based on the recommendations of an ad hoc committee…” said Chitehwe, a lawyer by profession.

She said political will is all about policy makers deciding to act on pressing matters.

“It’s not just about sitting in an office and making a list of what needs to be done and carrying on. It is about identifying what needs to be done, deciding how to do it, getting the relevant skills and…giving it a timeline. That is what political will is about to me,” she added.

Meanwhile, Chitehwe presented a paper to Bimha on DBC’s research findings and recommendations, but said her committee had “nothing new to offer”.

“Our recommendations honourable minister (Bimha) are not different from the recommendations of the past committees set before ours,” she said.

She said her committee’s report was actually the third one, on the same issue, in the past 12 months.

“There was the Zimbabwe Investment Authority Comesa report and the ministry of Finance report that followed visits to Mauritius,” she added.

She further stated: “We found that our failure as a nation in creating an efficient business environment is evidenced by the lack of information, members of the public and entrepreneurs have no access to information,”

“There are inconsistent and bureaucratic measures that they have to go through in order to do any business in the country. We also found that the country has severely antiquated work processes out of sync with world standards,” she said.

She said Zimbabwe’s business environment was characterised by regulatory systems and institutions, which made it extremely difficult to attract meaningful foreign capital.

“The impression given is that the country is not capable of creating and implementing reforms for an improved business environment.

Investors have a negative perception of who we are,” she said.

The committee also recommended improvement of the justice delivery system by setting up specialised courts.

Comments (2)

There you are. It needs a woman to tell it like it is. But will anything be done?!

John Banda - 7 October 2014

Sando dzako Maureen Chitehwe. Well articulated speech. Vane nzeve dzekunzwa ngavanzwe. Big up!!!!!!

Watosvorwa - 7 October 2014

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