A ZIMBABWEAN business leader working in South Africa says the current economic problems will take a long time to end because some people are benefiting f
rom the crisis.
Speaking at the Harare Chamber of Commerce awards ceremony, Alexander Forbes group chief executive Peter Moyo said some local businessmen had taken advantage of the economic crisis in the country to enrich themselves and as such it would be difficult to try to change the system.
“Some people are benefiting from this (economic crisis) and will obviously not want to change. These people need to understand that the whole is greater and better than the sum of the parts,” Moyo said.
Moyo said such people were not interested in a new dispensation and will stifle change whose outcome does not benefit them directly.
“To change they have to believe in a better vision and future. If not, let us not be surprised if we cannot move forward,” Moyo said. He said there was need for foreign investment to boost major sectors of the economy that has been under-performing over the past four years.
“The sooner we accept that we need international capital the better it is for us,” he said. “One thing about capital is that it will only go to places where the rewards are better.
“We therefore have to accept that Zimbabwe will be competing with other nations. The challenge is to make Zimbabwe a better capital destination than a lot of other nations that are the recipients of that capital.
“This therefore requires clarity on why the international community must invest in Zimbabwe.”
Moyo said in order to effect change, there was need for government to come up with new strategies “an approach that has credible people who are not tainted”.
“It is obvious to me that it is only a new order that can have the credibility of the international community and the people of Zimbabwe. The old order can only make (the situation) it worse,” Moyo said.
Moyo said the state was also involved in corrupt activities, which have been deliberately ignored.
“We also have allowed a lot of people to grow and be successful, purely because of corruption,” said Moyo. “Some of the state institutions that business depends on are rife with corruption.”
He also said although these entities might resist any change for the better there was a need to come up with plans to deal with such cases. He said business had played a role in corrupting some of the entities and officials and that it was up to the business community to make sure that they eliminate corruption in the system.
“If we want to change this country for the better, we also have a role in making sure that we do not allow our businesses to be the corruptors or the conduit of corrupt practices.”
Moyo called for ethical awareness in business practice, he said it was their mandate to ensure that companies and businesses are run in the most ethical way that promotes good corporate governance.
“What sort of businesses are we running? Are we running businesses that can only be successful, if the people of Zimbabwe are suffering and there is turmoil? Can we therefore be part of the change, or are we going to be the stumbling block.”
He said it was the duty of business people to prepare for a brighter Zimbabwe, not only for the politicians.
“It is not only the politicians that must worry about this. At any rate, I don’t trust them. It is also us and the way we run our businesses.”
In conclusion, Moyo said those that run businesses must make sure their enterprises are attractive to capital inflows.
“Let us not forget that the corporate world also sees Zimbabwe through the Zimbabwean businesses.”