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Zimbabwean president encourages his
compatriots abroad to invest at home

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe’s new president Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday invited Zimbabwean businessmen in Mozambique to go back to invest in their own homeland, whose economy has been going south and is in need of fresh cash.

Mnangagwa made the remarks to the Zimbabwean community during his one-day visit to Mozambique, saying his government is working to deal with all legislation barriers that constrain business in Zimbabwe.

“By that we mean we are to attend to all pieces of legislation which constrains business in our country,” said the president.

“With a lot of people interested in investing in Zimbabwe under the new dispensation, it will see Zimbabwe again grow by a pace that will enable us to catch up with the rest of the SADC region countries or the rest of developing countries,” Mnangagwa added.

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi expressed his support to Mnangagwa’s words.

“Whenever you have time to go home, go and look at the menu of opportunities that now exists at home ... We will do our best to accommodate you on your way of specialization,” he said.

Mnangagwa took office two months ago and has vowed to revitalize the country’s sluggish economy through a series of measures, including stamping out corruption, opening the country to foreign investment and inculcating a new culture of hard work in Zimbabweans.

The price of a loaf of bread in 2008 was 16 million Zimbabwe dollars. The same loaf of bread cost more than 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollars in 2009.



Zimbabwe not phasing out bond notes: finance minister

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said Wednesday the new government has no plans to phase out bond notes, the surrogate currency introduced in 2016, to tame cash shortages in the economy.

Reacting to recent media reports alleging that government intended to phase out the notes soon, Chinamasa said in a statement that the economic fundamentals were not yet ideal for the country to move out of the multiple currency regime adopted in 2009.

The Southern African country adopted use of multiple currencies in 2009 after its currency had been rendered worthless by hyperinflation.

The U.S. dollar has been the main transacting currency but it has been in short supply since 2015 due to low exports and externalization.

“Let me reiterate the fact that government has no plans to phase out bond notes. The government is quite aware that the most important economic fundamentals that the country would need to achieve before de-dollarization begins are foreign exchange reserves sufficient to cover at least three months of imports, sustainable economic growth path and reducing fiscal deficit to sustainable levels,” the minister said.

He said the government is placing more emphasis on achieving these economic fundamentals, including enhancing consumer and business confidence, in the medium term.


Zimbabwean president says no capacity for diaspora vote

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said Zimbabwe does not have the capacity to facilitate its citizens based outside the country to vote while in their countries of residence.

State-run news agency New Ziana reported Tuesday that Mnangagwa had on Monday told the Zimbabwean community in Namibia that the country did not have funds to allow voting to take place outside its borders.

“We do not have the logistics now or the capacity,” Mnangagwa told the audience during a question and answer session.

He said Zimbabweans in the diaspora had not been denied their right to vote as those who were “serious” could come back home to register under the on-going voter registration and vote when the time came.

Mnangagwa had made a one-day visit to Namibia to discuss with his counterpart Hage Geingob on the recent political changes in Zimbabwe, following similar visits to South Africa and Angola and ahead of several others in the Southern African Development Community.

Many Zimbabweans in the diaspora have been urging the government to allow them to vote while in their countries of domicile but the government has argued that it had funding constraints.

The country will go for elections most likely in the second half of 2018 with many people hoping that some electoral reforms will be implemented to ensure that they are more credible than in the past.

Mnangagwa said observers would be invited from the region, the continent as well as the international community to monitor the polls.

“Above that, every country that has an embassy in Zimbabwe is allowed five people to observe the elections,” he said.


Zimbabwe seeks to resuscitate major asbestos mine

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe’s new government is planning to resuscitate a major asbestos mine in the central part of the country to create jobs and help revive the economy.

New minister of mines Winston Chitando was quoted by the state-run Herald newspaper Tuesday as saying that efforts were underway to raise funds to revive Shabani mine.

Shabani and Mashaba Mines (SMM) in Zvishavane and Gaths’ Mine in Mashava were once among the world’s largest asbestos producing entities with annual output exceeding 140,000 tones. SMM stopped production in 2004 due to viability challenges.

The Zimbabwean government has over the years battled to revive operations at the mines without success.

The revival plan resurfaced as Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa hopes to buoy the ailing economy by boosting agriculture and mining.

The minister said de-watering had begun at the mine, which was expected to be completed by end of this year.

“As we talk now, we do have about 50 people at the dump, mobilizing to start the reprocessing of the dump, which should commence by May this year,” Chitando said.

The minister said the government had not yet found an investor for SMM, currently under the administration of the state-run Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.

At its peak, SMM employed 5,000 workers with an estimated 200 downstream industries benefiting from its operations.


Zimbabwe explores Chinese chicken market for export

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday said that he is hopeful about the opportunities that have been availed to his country singling out the Chinese chicken market as a prospective area for export.

He was speaking at a business forum meeting for Zimbabweans in Namibian capital Windhoek where he is on a one-day working visit.

Mnangagwa who came to power last November following military intervention said that the two countries were working towards brokering an agreement that would see small poultry producing businesses in Zimbabwe exporting their chicken to China.

He urged Zimbabweans living in Namibia to consider relocating back home to utilize these opportunities and help build the country that was once known as the bread basket of Africa.

“There has been goodwill from across the world, so many delegates coming to Zimbabwe with various proposals. Our people are ready to move and rebuild,” he said.

China was one of the first few countries that reached out to the president right after his inauguration to offer support.

Mnangagwa is expected to visit China in April this year to work out more areas of cooperation.


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