By Byron Mutingwende
Government bureaucratic red tape is standing in the way of economic revival efforts by serious business minded people who want to bring investment into the country, a youth entrepreneur has said.
Founding president of Zimbabwe Youth Development Trust (ZYDT), Aaron Mupandawana made the remarks while updating journalists on his organisation’s youth empowerment initiatives at the National Press Club in Harare on Monday.
“The current investment climate is not conducive for business. There is always policy inconsistency among ministries and government departments. One can get all the relevant papers to start mining operations from the Ministry of Mines only for Environmental Management Agency to stop you if they feel your operations may not conform to their environmental impact assessment when the investor would have pumped money,” Mupandawana said.
He said there was need to sychronise the investment policies and called on the government to remove stringent measures around work and investor permits for foreigners.
Mupandawana said because of friendly investor policies, the government of Mozambique had attracted in excess of $8 billion in foreign direct investment for 2014 alone with Zambia following closely with $5 billion.
To the contrary, around July, Zimbabwe’s finance minister Patrick Chinamasa reviewed downwards the projected real Gross Domestic Product from 6, 1 percent to 3, 1 percent citing low investment confidence and liquidity challenges.
Mupandawana added that there was need to review the tenure of policies since investors prefer longer period of time to expand their businesses and capital inflows.
ZYDT was established in 2006 with the idea of addressing problems facing youths through tailor-made economic solutions that include sourcing funds for business projects.