BY SIZALOKUHLE NCUBE PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has been accused of blowing taxpayers funds on a “window-dressing” jaunt while ignoring calls to implement far-reaching reforms to attract capital.
Mnangagwa was in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum last week, the second time since he is attending the event where world leaders and corporates meet annually.
Critics said Mnangagwa must expend energy on fulfilling his 2018 promises to implement political and economic reforms to attract global capital and return Zimbabwe to the international arena after years of isolation.
When he attended the event for the first time, Mnangagwa promised a departure from the past, saying Zimbabwe was open for business.
However, critics said the country had regressed under Mnangagwa while analysts urged the president to first focus on addressing the country’s political-social economic crisis.
“The “Zimbabwe is open for business’’ mantra will not hold as long as investors are asked to pay bribes before they can set up their businesses in the country.
“It remains that the solution for the crisis that Zimbabwe is facing requires home-grown solutions and setting our house in order before we go out to seek investment,” the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) said.
“If we are to stay true to the theme of restoring trust, there is a need to address the challenges that we are facing at home before we can window-dress abroad.”
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Alexander Rusero, a political analyst, said as long as there were concerns over policy inconsistency, attracting investment at whatever fora would be a waste of time.
“The government indicates left and it turns right,” Rusero said.
“This is not healthy for investors and for capital injection.
“You cannot reform the economy without reforming the whole political infrastructure. You cannot separate economics from politics.
Economist Gift Mugano said: “We have a long way to go as far as capitalising on Davos to attract investors to come to Zimbabwe.”