Policy consistency vital to attracting investment

THE Government should ensure policy consistency in its engagements so as to attract increased domestic and foreign investment into the economy.

Addressing civic society organisations during a provincial consultative meeting on foreign direct investment and reform processes in Southern and Eastern Africa held in Masvingo last week, regional trade policy analyst, Mr Admire Mutizwa, said the Government has to guard against overnight policy changes even when there are changes in Cabinet. He said while policies were not cast in stone, there was a need to maintain consistence in the formulation as a sign of ingenuity.

“It is unfortunate that as much as we all appreciate the strides that Government is doing in attracting FDIs, it is unfortunate that some of our policies are not consistent,” said Mr Mutizwa.

He said policies were not supposed to change on the change of a Cabinet Minister as this was not in sync with the international best practice.

“We have seen a situation where when a minister resigns or is dismissed from Government, his or her policy is quickly changed. This will always create confusion and impacts negatively on our efforts to attract FDI,” said Mr Mutizwa. “We therefore call on the Government to look on the aspect of policy consistency so that the ‘Zimbabwe is open for business mantra’ bears fruits.”

He said the Government should involve communities on policy formulation to foster ownership of the policy for easy buy-in.

With that in mind, the desire is for citizens to have direct benefit to investment projects within their communities.

“There are many communities that suffer poverty in the middle of plenty as they are not involved in the production chain. We appeal to Government to have a research body that has contact with the grassroots so that the investment benefits people who matter most,” said Mr Mutizwa.