Depoliticise FDI: Chinamasa

HARARE - Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has called on Zimbabweans to depoliticise foreign direct investment (FDI).
He told delegates at a post-budget meeting in Harare last Friday that FDI inflows into the country must not be classified by origin but by the development being brought into the country.

“Let’s depoliticise economic issues,” Chinamasa said.

“Let’s look at investors as investors, not where they are coming from. We should change our attitudes and welcome foreign capital,” added the minister, who on Thursday presented a $4 billion budget for the 2016 financial year.

Chinamasa spoke amid indications that the ruling Zanu PF is sharply divided over FDI, with older leaders like Chinamasa, 68, and vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa pitted against officials such as Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment minister Patrick Zhuwao, 48, and Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, 45, who are not keen on deals with Western investors.

The Treasury chief said it was important for politicians and Zimbabweans to understand that the need for development in Zimbabwe was “bigger than the origin of the money or political affiliation.”

Chinamasa recently admitted to divisions within Zanu PF over his re-engagement efforts and meetings with Western investors.

“All I am saying here is there is nothing political about this, what we need is development,” Chinamasa said.

“Money is money, don’t look at the colour of the people bringing in the money because it is the US dollar at the end of the day.”

Zimbabwe has fallen behind regional peers Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique, in terms of FDI.

FDI inflows into the country amounted to $1,7 billion between 1980 and 2013, whereas Zambia and Mozambique received $7,7 billion and $15,8 billion, respectively.

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