Clear di­as­po­ran in­vest­ment pol­icy needed: Mu­denda

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide - Oliver Kazunga

THE Speaker of Par­lia­ment Ad­vo­cate Ja­cob Mu­denda says the Govern­ment needs to come up with a clear di­as­po­ran pol­icy that would at­tract Zim­bab­weans based out­side the coun­try to in­vest back home.

Speak­ing at the just ended Par­lia­men­tary 2018 pre-bud­get sem­i­nar in Vic­to­ria Falls, Adv Mu­denda said Par­lia­ment was ready to as­sist the Govern­ment in en­act­ing an ap­pro­pri­ate law so that Di­as­po­rans bring in money into the coun­try.

“We need to come up with a clear Di­a­po­ran pol­icy and Par­lia­ment will as­sist in the en­act­ment of the ap­pro­pri­ate law so that the Di­as­po­rans can bring the monies that they have out­side there.

“We yearn for pro­pos­als on spe­cial tax other in­cen­tives for Di­as­po­ran in­vest­ments and prop­erty in eq­ui­ties and other as­sets in­clud­ing in­vest­ing in the stock ex­change,” he said, adding that this was not a wish­ful think­ing as other de­vel­op­ing economies such as Ethiopia have done it be­fore.

Adv Mu­denda said Ethiopia’s Di­as­pora re­mit­tances were in ex­cess of $4 bil­lion an­nu­ally with that coun­try’s na­tion­als based in for­eign lands in­vest­ing in the con­struc­tion of one of their largest in­land dam.

“They have built a new dam, one of the big­gest in Ethiopia; they en­cour­age Di­as­po­rans to buy in­fra­struc­ture back home so that Ethiopia does not bor­row money and the Di­as­po­ran have done it by in­vest­ing in in­fra­struc­ture for the con­struc­tion of the dam.

“Hon­estly, we (Zim­babwe) can­not ex­pect Di­as­po­rans to re­mit through our for­mal fi­nan­cial chan­nels with­out spell­ing out what’s in it for them to bring the money back home,” he said.

The Speaker of Par­lia­ment noted that the State en­ter­prises and paras­tatals was a sec­tor that the coun­try also re­quired to ad­dress to en­sure ef­fec­tive­ness and ef­fi­ciency in the op­er­a­tions of the en­ti­ties.

A to­tal of 28 out of the 93 State en­ter­prises and paras­tatals au­dited last year, Adv Mu­denda said, in­curred a com­bined loss of $270 mil­lion.

“And the ques­tion is where are we as Par­lia­ment in mon­i­tor­ing that process? The poor per­for­mance of paras­tatals is at­trib­uted to the weak cor­po­rate gov­er­nance and ef­fec­tive con­trol mech­a­nisms. How do we ex­plain a sit­u­a­tion where some of the State en­ter­prises op­er­ate with­out full boards?

“Some of them have come be­fore Par­lia­ment where the only board mem­ber was a per­ma­nent sec­re­tary; very dis­ap­point­ing and some of the boards are re­con­fig­ured when min­is­ters change,” he said.

“The 2018 bud­get should en­deav­our to plug in the loop­holes so that more State-owned en­ter­prises op­er­ate vi­ably and Par­lia­ment must make some con­crete in­put in that re­gard in­clud­ing sug­ges­tion on com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion of some of these paras­tatals.”

Adv Mu­denda said Par­lia­ment can­not af­ford to see State-owned en­ti­ties run­ning losses while con­tin­u­ing to milk the fis­cus.

“We can­not af­ford to con­tinue bail­ing out these un­der­per form­ing en­ti­ties whose con­tri­bu­tion to the Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct has fallen from 40 per­cent to minis­cule fig­ure of be­low 10 per­cent,” he said. — @ okazunga.

Ad­vo­cate Ja­cob Mu­denda

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