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Mashakada says Zimbabwe can be turned around if ministers work as hard as Chinamasa

If I ask you Mr. Speaker to tell me only 20 names in the whole country of indigenous Zimbabweans who have benefited from this Act on a large scale, the Minister will struggle to find the people that have benefited from the Indigenisation Act.  Yet it is doing so much harm as a red flag to new direct investment.  I would urge us to repeal this Act; revisit it and make sure that we attract more investment into the manufacturing, mining, agricultural and construction sectors.  We need to see cranes in Harare, that will show you that the economy is responding.

China did three things to revamp their economy.  They said they were going to pursue industrialisation, modernisation and reforms.  These reforms….

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Member you are left with five minutes.

 HON. DR. MASHAKADA: These reforms, you know China is a communist country; a command economy but they realised the value of investment.  So, they opened up to Foreign Direct Investment so that they would increase their productivity and infrastructural capacity.  So, they locked in all investments and investment came into China from America, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.  All those countries were investing in a communist country.

The President of the day said, I do not care the colour of the cat, as long as it catches mice.  That is wisdom.  You do not block or lock away investment.  Let investment come.  Do you know that China went to the extent of inviting Singapore to build one of the best Special Economic Zones in China?  Just across Hong Kong, there is booming a Special Economic Zone built by Singapore.  China gave Singapore 30 years to run the Special Economic Zones; the local municipality and all the infrastructure that Singapore invested.

After 30 years, Singapore handed over everything to China.  Now, who is benefiting at the end of the day? It is China, that is why they are now the second largest economy.  Economic dirigisme does not work.  We need to pay attention to investment.

I am also encouraged that development partners, from what Minister Chinamasa said, poured in about $500 million in various projects in this country.  It speaks volumes to issues of bilateral and multi-lateral relations.  We need to continue to improve our engagement with development partners and multi-lateral organisations so that they can complement our developmental efforts.

On public debt, I think we have performed dismally.  We have only serviced our debt with IMF, which is to the tune of $150 million.  Since the LIMA Agreement of 2015 and by the way, in LIMA Minister Chinamasa had undertaken to clear the debt, at least by end of 2016 but there are a lot of challenges.  We still owe African Development Bank over $600 million and the World Bank about $1.2 billion.  We are not making progress in our re-engagement efforts.  Why, because we have to deal with other toxic issues that affects our relations with European Union, the Paris Club and so on.  We need also to address these toxic issues.

What image does it give when we hear that the business premises of a Vice President of a party has been burnt – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Hon. Mudzuri’s enterprise has been burnt down – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – These are confidence issues that will affect the budget.

In assessing the budget, you do not only look at the macro-economic things that I have been doing, you also look at the confidence issues as they affect the tenure and out-turn of the budget.  You can only ignore that on your own peril because an economy is a holistic entity, you do not have to be blinkered.  However, I would like to thank the Minister for continuing to make efforts to stay the course under very difficult fiscal conditions.  I hope that if other Cabinet Minister were going to be as hard working as he is, I think this country will be turned around.  Thank you.

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