Go, go economic embargo — go!

The Chronicle

Stephen Mpofu, Perspective
THE heading above for this discourse has long been a fervent wish for Zimbabweans for many decades since the imposition by the West of illegal economic sanctions shortly after independence in 1980, to try to remove Zanu-PF Government from power for introducing the land reform programme under which some farms were repossessed from white owners and redistributed to blacks who needed that asset the most.

When at long last the Southern African Development Community, (Sadc) the African Union (AU) and the rest of the progressive world made impassioned pleas for the removal of the economic embargo, most Zimbabweans must have expected a positive response from their economic punishers to herald for us all a joyous Christmas year end.

But alas this was not to be until last week during the African Union/European Union summit in Brussels when the authoritative forces said that 13 out of 15 European countries now favoured the lifting of the illegal sanctions — that positive move coming in the wake of the exit from the bloc by Britain, this country’s former colonial power and instigator of the imposition of the sanctions by the United States of America and Western Europe.

What the positive development mentioned above posits in the excited minds of Zimbabweans is an avalanche of investments in our very rich God-endowed mineral resources, energy development, agriculture, digitalisation of communication processes et cetera.

But you, (yes, you) wait a moment, your excitement held in abeyance.

For all the investments that we desire right now, our country needs a level playing field, so that potholes and any other hindrances do not deter potential investors from coming to Zimbabwe to also modernise existing industries where such updating appears imperative to scale up production, especially in Bulawayo, this country’s undisputed industrial hub.

Potholes mentioned above and which may deter foreign investment coming to Zimbabwe may include unholy inter and intra-political party and prolonged labour disputes with potential investors remaining too close with their money rather than “fritter it away” to a country that they are made to perceive as being unstable.

Which suggests that workers as well as employers and political players MUST PUT our country first in everything done as a demonstration of unmitigated patriotism, so that no door is flung open for this country’s former detractors or new havoc-wreckers to come in and reverse the revolution which brought freedom and independence to our motherland.

In conclusion, new city car parking fees introduced to Bulawayo by the City Council in partnership with Tendy Three International (TTI), making Bulawayo unarguably the most expensive city in the country, do not augur well for new investment to keep the City of Kings and Queens at the helm of industrial development as it may cause those with much needed capital to develop cold feet about coming to Zimbabwe.

In any case, how does the new fee structure strengthen the council’s development hand when the partner reportedly pockets 70 percent of the money collected leaving the city council with a paltry 30 percent?

With the International Tade Fair returning to its traditional Bulawayo venue in April, will the new parking fees just introduced not make expensive parking in the CBD discourage some potential exhibitors and visitors from attending the showcase, fearing that there will be no free or cheaper place in the CBD to park their personal or hired vehicles during their stay in Bulawayo?

This mind boggles.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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