THE Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) has pinned its hopes on the newly formed inclusive government to resuscitate its operations stifled by constraints of finances and resources.
ZIA chairperson Marah Hativagone told businessdigest this week that the formation of an all inclusive government comprising Zanu PF and the two Movement for Democratic Change formations had raised hopes for increased investment which has suffered over the last nine years due to a political and economic crisis that has engulfed the country.
â€œWe are looking forward to this inclusive government. It has made us very optimistic and it has given us the confidence to start working and moving ahead,â€ Hativagone said.
The lack of a substantive government, she said, had an adverse impact on the authority as they could not carry out their operations.
She said the authority had failed to sign a vital Memorandum of Understanding to boost investment with the Trans Limpopo Investment Authority in Polokwane, South Africa, because there had been no substantive minister to approve the deal.
Hativagone said she hoped that the new government would effectively end the cholera epidemic that has claimed more than 3 400 lives with over 69 000 suspected cases of the water borne disease, as this was scaring away investors.
â€œWe have been asked a lot of negative questions by potential investors about the cholera epidemic and the hospitals not operating. This has made some investors decide that Zimbabwe is a no-go area,â€ she said.
She said the absence of a substantive government has also affected investment as some of the laws such as the Mines and Minerals Act had not yet been finalised. This, Hativagone said, further eroded the confidence of investors.
Hativagone said inadequate cash injection by government had stalled most of its activities which meant that they could not send their officers outside the country to scout for investment, limiting their travel to organised trade missions.
The depletion and rundown state of the authorityâ€™s fleet of vehicles, she said, further hampered operations.
She said their efforts to overcome these problems and assure investors that they could invest in the country were being stifled by a barrage of negative reports by the international media on the crisis in the country.
Hativagone said that despite the prohibitive environment they were plodding ahead in their efforts to fulfil their mandate of marketing the economy and working with various trade promotion agencies.
She said the authority is planning to launch a publicity campaign highlighting the origins and purpose of the ZIA, as most people did not know of its existence.
Hativagone said they had produced a brochure which they will distribute to the public.
The ZIA was launched in 2007 as a result of the amalgamation of the Export Processing Zone and the Zimbabwe Investment Centre.
BY KUDZAI KUWAZA