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Mnangagwa removes ZIDA Act from Finance Ministry to his office

by Staff reporter
12 Nov 2023 at 14:19hrs | Views
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has shifted the oversight of the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA) Act from the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development, and Investment Promotion to his own office, prompting concerns about a potential consolidation of power and increased control over critical economic sectors.

Initially falling under the jurisdiction of the Finance Minister, the ZIDA Act has been modified through two Statutory Instruments, transferring its administration to the president. In Statutory Instrument 224 of 2023, Mnangagwa specified that the ZIDA Act is no longer under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, while Statutory Instrument 225 of 2023 designates him as the administrator of the AIDA Act. Statutory Instrument 224 of 2023 states:

"The Assignment of Functions Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion) Notice, 2018, published in Statutory Instrument 197 of 2023, is amended by the deletion of the following item in the Schedule thereto: 'Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency Act [Chapter 14:38] (Act No. 10 of 2019).' Supplement to the Zimbabwean Government Gazette dated the 10th November, 2023."

Statutory Instrument 225 of 2023 reads:

"The Assignment of Functions (His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe) Notice, 2023, published in Statutory Instrument 189 of 2023, is amended by the inclusion of the following item in the Schedule thereto: 'Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency Act [Chapter 14:38] (Act No. 10 of 2019).' Supplement to the Zimbabwean Government Gazette dated the 10th November, 2023."

Under the ZIDA Act, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube previously held diverse responsibilities related to the promotion and implementation of investment strategies, both domestically and internationally. These included advocating for the decentralization of investment activities, coordinating investment programs, facilitating the entry and execution of investment projects, and employing modern communication methods to promote Zimbabwe as an attractive investment destination.

Ncube was also tasked with fostering dialogue between the public and private sectors, creating and regulating Special Economic Zones, assessing and recommending public-private partnerships, and offering investor aftercare services to support investment retention and expansion.

Economic analyst Mike Vareta expressed concerns that the removal of the ZIDA Act from the Finance Minister's purview could empower President Mnangagwa to negotiate deals in secrecy, potentially hindering investor understanding of opportunities in Zimbabwe. Vareta recommended that the government prioritize creating a favorable investment environment by addressing infrastructure issues, reducing corruption, and ensuring fair competition.

Political analyst Romeo Chasara suggested that the transfer of the ZIDA Act from the Finance Minister's authority may complicate operations for investors and could signify an attempt to consolidate power in the hands of the President, potentially negatively impacting the private sector and hindering economic growth.

Source - pindula