Mnangagwa on the cost to Zimbabwe of negative opposition and journalism


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President Emmerson Mnangagwa says negative statements from Zimbabwe’s opposition parties and the media are costing the country dearly as the country is presently like a bright flame to a moth with businesspeople from all corners of the world flocking to the country to scout for opportunities.

Writing in his weekly column in the Sunday Mail Mnangagwa said investors are unanimous that Zimbabwe has some of the best opportunities but they are sometimes put off by the negative statements from the local media and opposition.

The bad talk turns into a premium the country has to pay to compensate for falsely invented country risks, he said.

Here is the relevant excerpt from the column:

Presently, Zimbabwe is like a bright flame to a moth. Businesspeople from all corners of the globe head here to scout for opportunities which our country offers.

They are unanimous that Zimbabwe has some of the best opportunities found in emerging markets. Foreign companies doing business here post very good results.

Further, these visitors commend the peace and security which abide here. They remind me that the challenges we face are common to most nations, and are teething and certainly surmountable.

They admire the spirited way we tackle them. Not so for some of us and some sections of our media. For them mundane problems here are made to read like rare monstrosities, indeed like unheard of aberrations!

Much worse, these problems are made to define and summarise us as a people and as a nation. And even in the face of clear breakthroughs, problems have to be imported or invented. It is as if nothing flies here except problems, failure and catastrophes.

Yet our nation still stands, and hopefully counts every day in the year. And in view of the above facts, does so with well-founded hope and deserved expectations.

I concede that pessimism is a human mood, and one often understandable in a given set of circumstances or against a certain history. I concede, too, that the role of the opposition is to criticise. But not just to criticise and to be negative for the sake of it. Not with so many recovery “shoots” sprouting, some of which are fast maturing into sprite and promising saplings.

All this has left me wondering why all this negativity, more so when most of those who bad mouth and “write down” the country do so from here, are educated enough to read our hopeful and ever improving circumstances, and live and belong here as nationals and citizens.

They know and see the above facts and figures, all of which are in the public domain, and which continue to motivate many foreign investors who now patronise our country.

Surely these facts and figures cannot be invisible to the opposition, to our newsmen and women, and in our newsrooms? So why this unremitting negativism?

Continued next page

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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