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Mutambara set to attend World Economic Forum

DEPUTY Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara will on Monday attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he said he will lobby for the removal of sanctions, talk about the unity government, indigenisation and tell the world that there will be no election in Zimbabwe “any time soon”.

Speaking at the on Zimbabwe Institute of Management dinner on Wednesday, Mutambara said regional expansion, growth opportunities, risk and education were key issues that business leaders will be targeting for discussion at the 20th WEF.
“At the world economic forum we are all equal,” said Mutambara. “Yours truly will tell the world that sanctions do not make sense when we have a government of national unity. They do not help our cause.
“You might say they are targeted, but investors will always wonder why the head of state and many in government are under sanctions and will ignore us. In the end it is the ordinary innocent man on the street that suffers.”
The forum brings together over 1 000 participants from 85 African countries.
The meeting will be held under the theme “Rethinking Africa’s growth strategy”. Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete will officially open it.
The annual event was moved from Cape Town, South Africa, due to World Cup preparations.
Mutambara said the meeting would provide leaders with a platform to evaluate their businesses and to strategise on how best to use the recession crisis as an opportunity to redesign a sustainable roadmap for Africa’s future.
“We want to create an environment where if I speak at the World Economic Forum about opportunities in Zimbabwe, they will not tell me to shut up and tell them how to live in an environment whose inflation is half a billion or about cholera,” he said. “The World Economic Forum is an excellent opportunity for the business community to engage with policy leaders, non-governmental organisations and the global community to address critical issues. Usually business leaders want to listen to other business leader not political gangsters.”
Mutambara said Zimbabweans had good ideas but that was not enough.
“How you package and market them is more important,” he added.
On elections next year, Mutambara said none of the principals of the inclusive government was prepared for elections.
“When you see (President Robert) Mugabe and (Prime Minister Morgan) Tsvangirai drinking tea at their Monday meetings, it is an open secret that their talk about elections next year is just grand standing to please their constituencies. Dismiss and disregard them. Listen to me the only honest one. We are not ready,” said Mutambara.
He said even the ministers were enjoying power to the extent that they do not want their terms in office cut from five years to three.
“You think (Economic Planning minister Elton) Mangoma is talking of a five-year plan to leave office next year, the (Indigenisation minister Saviour) Kasukuwere’s indigenisation plans … dream again. None of us is ready,” Mutambara said. “A recent survey I saw which did not include me said Tsvangirai will win by 88% if elections are held next year. So you think Mugabe will go into elections knowing that he will lose?”

Paul Nyakazeya

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