World’s moved on, Chinamasa

AN embarrassing feature of the current Zanu PF government is the fixation with denial and a lingering over-sensitivity to criticism.

Zimbabwe Independent Editorial

This was on show this week when Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa blew his top at a business symposium because he had been told things he did not want to hear.

Economist John Robertson, who spoke at the same function on Wednesday, said lack of respect for property rights, the indigenisation policy and flawed execution of the land reform programme had ruined industry leading to birth of the informal sector. A miffed Chinamasa regarded this as provocation and told organisers of the event not to invite him to events where “Robertson is allowed to say such things”.

In other words, he would like to be invited to meetings where delegates praise-sing the land reform programme as a major success in a country that is importing food. He wants to hear that the transfer of land to 350 000 new farmers is a great success even if the land cannot be used as security.

He expects business to talk about the success of indigenisation in a country crying out for investment and wants the nation to celebrate the growth of the informal sector.

More shockingly, the minister saw it fit to lay into banks which he accused of implementing “some exit strategy”. Their crime is that they are not organising lines of credit to lend to customers. He even suggested a sinister motive by banks whose commitment to government he questioned. The minister should be reminded that the bulk of new entrepreneurs in the informal sector are not paying taxes; they are draining the economy of foreign currency through imports of sub-standard products. Their business models cannot support or grow this economy.

In short, they are not the solution to the daunting challenge at hand. Chinamasa should not expect this country to get back on the recovery track when he engages in mortal combat with those reminding him of the herculean task the country faces. The sentiments raised by Robertson are not vexatious inventions crafted to irritate government, but stark reality Chinamasa should be grappling with.

He will hear the same issues when he goes abroad to look for developmental assistance and lines of credit. These are the same questions that the Kumbirai Katsande-led private sector team — set to visit Western capitals in search for investment next week — will have to answer. And investors have major worries about the humongous foreign debt which now stands at US$11 billion including arrears. This is the reality of our situation.

We implore Chinamasa to wake up to the reality that Zimbabwe, despite its much-talked-about natural resources, is a high-risk investment destination where government policies have largely remained anti-capital.

An Ernst &Young report last month captured international sentiment on Zimbabwe. It said Zimbabwe was among a group of countries that are “relatively high-risk environments which do not exhibit particularly exciting growth characteristics”.

The country will start to exhibit “exciting growth characteristics” the day there is a concerted effort to respect private sector input in governance. This calls for astute leadership that is willing to take criticism on the chin, admit to mistakes and carefully consider advice.

9 thoughts on “World’s moved on, Chinamasa”

  1. magame says:

    The informal sector will never be able to sustain this economy bcoz it is inherently inefficient. Visit Gazaland shoppin center in Highfield during working hours and you will witness those Chinamasa expects to sustain the economy drinking beer while doing their work.

  2. false prophets says:

    the Minister is articulating his master’s delusion. he speaks of an economic revolution taking place, what economic revolution? revolution founded on looting, plunder, unbridled corruption? this is an economic demise we are facing Mr. Minister, not a revolution. stop deceiving the nation by those endless lies fed into your mouth by your demigod.

  3. judgeq45 says:

    Sure, these Ministers pander to the whims of their master, no matter how illogical. They are the lot that expected pure diesel from some rock in Chinhoyi. And they are our leaders? Oh Lord please have mercy!!

  4. eagle says:

    Mr Chinamasa & Chinotimba must be encouraged to enroll for an evening course in Basic Economics at Speciss College or Trust Acadaemy. It will be very beneficial to them

  5. Musoja says:

    What this country needs is leaders who hear the people. There is need for positive engagement from each and every stakeholder. Economists see what politicians dont see and for the sake of our beloved country our politicians need to engage the business with open minds. Honestly, for once lets unite and bring all economic brains together, our economy is almost at a breakpoint. Facts are there for anyone to see.

  6. proud zimbabwean says:

    Really guys, voita zvingani vanhu ava. Chavo chavanoziva kuba, kuponda, upombwe all the negatives. Leadership requires intergrity and honesty which I can safely tell you are not present in these guys, in fact they hate anything bordering around those values.

    Plundering and looting is their main agenda. To them kunzi “Mwana wevhu” it gives you a right to destroy where others are constructing. They cant see the difference between “Constructive” and “Destructive”. To them the difference is the same and anyone who tries to show them otherwise is a “Detractor”

    May the Good LORD have mercy on Zimbabwe, tanzwa nehuyanga hwakadai.

  7. martz says:

    we area already in the middle of the river and common sense calls for agility now than ever and people Zimbabwe shall be built by its people now that you are educated and can speak English better than Queen’s kids. You town dwellers are a problem, wake up and smell the coffee after all most of you came from kumusha and are loudest talking of a life not made of you.

    Basics call for beefing everybody and this is what Chinamasa is focusing on starting with makorokoza in mining because here was were racism was at its best since a lot of revenue was leaking just because everywhere people are mining gold and who has been the buyer? It’s these whites who have syndicates and one wonders were they get their wealth from.

    The cat is out of the BAG!!! Batai munhu. New skills are needed since opportunities are abound. There is no short cut to success. It took a century to dislodge the white man but in agriculture especially tobacco we have proved a success beating the white man.

    It’s in the way we are doing our things that has changed and any alert individual in the information age era will tell you this. We are doing things in old ways whether in public or private sector because most people own irrelevant qualifications.

  8. Bravo says:

    Who regulates the informal sector mr chinamasa ? sir you are in idiot

  9. Kiro says:

    These guys are not serious. Thats why they have reverted back to issuing tax clearances fot he whole year becos they dont want to pay taxes regulary and on time. Thot they shud have issued them quartely to encourage and force these small companies to pay taxes. They are cheats and are busy sabotaging economic .growth……

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