SWEDEN’S outgoing ambassador to Zimbabwe, Kristina Svensson, says the government’s “haphazard land reform programme” along with “bad laws and bad economic policy” are hastening economic decline.
Speaking to journalists ahead of her departure from Harare, the Swedish envoy said “it’s not only the drought that led to the decline but also land reform.
“We think land reform was necessary but the way it was implemented was not within the confines of the rule of law.”
Svensson said,the “consequences of the haphazard land reform have led to the decline in agricultural production”.
Svensson, who finishes a four-year stint in the southern African country at the end of the month, also blamed “bad laws and bad economic policy” for Zimbabwe’s decline.
“Laws like the Public Order and Security Act, the media laws and the NGO Bill scare away foreign investors,” she said.
“The rules are changing every day and people ask themselves whether it’s wise to invest in the country when they don’t know what will happen to their business tomorrow,” said Svensson.
She added: “When I was ambassador in Zambia, we used to come here and there were lots of things to admire about Zimbabwe.
“We noticed big grain silos, herds of healthy, fat cattle, green pastures and well-developed infrastructure.
“Now one sees abandoned tobacco barns, uncultivated fields, cattle looking thin and the general decline. It’s very sad.” — AFP.