President Mnangagwa this Wednesday showed how seriously he takes the ease of doing business reforms when he took time to inspect offices where the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA) will be housed once he assents to the ZIDA Bill.
The visit comes after Parliament last week passed the Bill which seeks to give impetus to reforms being undertaken in promoting the ease of doing business.
The ZIDA Bill is set to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country and is modelled along successful stories in countries like Rwanda and Botswana.
The offices will be in the first floor of ZB Life Towers in the capital.
President Mnangagwa was accompanied by Vice Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi and senior Government officials, including Deputy Chief Secretary (Presidential Communications) George Charamba.
Speaking after the tour, President Mnangagwa said the visit was meant to acquaint Government with the progress made so far.
“The tour relates to the first phase of ZIDA,” he said.
“They (ZIDA) have just acquired these premises and the ZIDA Bill has gone through Parliament and just awaiting my assent.
“So, once I assent to the Bill, it becomes operational.
“So, we have come here with the Vice Presidents to acquaint ourselves with the structure and the arrangements made so far by the chairman, who is currently Dr (Washington) Mbizvo.”
Meanwhile, several people gathered near the building after seeing the Presidential motorcade to catch a glimpse of President Mnangagwa and his deputies.
When told that several people were wondering why the motorcade was parked near Eastgate Shopping Mall, President Mnangagwa jokingly said: “The motorcade is in Zimbabwe and it belongs to Zimbabwe. It has not gone outside the country. So, those who are worried, I am sure they are foreigners.
“Zimbabweans are not worried when they see a Zimbabwean motorcade moving in Zimbabwe.”
The ZIDA Bill is in line with the Transitional Stabilisation Programme which is underpinned by the call to undertake structural reform measures to mitigate the challenges and risks faced by the economy, in particular low investment.
Last year, President Mnangagwa was charmed by the efficient governance systems in Rwanda when he visited Kigali and had to invite that country’s governance expert, Ms Clare Akamanzi to share experiences with Cabinet ministers, Politburo members, senior Government officials and members of the private sector.
Ms Akamanzi, who is the Rwandan Development Board (RDB) chief executive, held several meetings sharing experiences on how that country achieved efficiency.
The ZIDA Bill combines the mandates of three existing pieces of legislation that deal with investment, namely the Zimbabwe Investment Authority Act, the Special Economic Zones Act and the Joint Ventures Act.
The promulgation of the Bill is expected to mark an important milestone, making Zimbabwe a middle-income country by 2030 as it is crucial to wealth creation, job creation and to individual and social empowerment.
The Zimbabwe Investment Authority, which is one of the legal instruments to be absorbed by the ZIDA Bill was responsible for issuing licences to foreign and domestic investors and smoothing the way for the commencement of operations.