Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Zimbabwe: 'Total Economic Revival Can't Be Achieved Overnight'
By Leonard Ncube

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa has called for patience among Zimbabweans, saying total economic revival cannot be achieved overnight.

Speaking at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) Winter School, which ended at the weekend, Minister Chinamasa said Zimbabweans should not expect miracles in economic turnaround.

While the future looks bright for the country's economy, he said Zimbabwe still has to contend with the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (Zidera), which the United States wants maintained thereby delaying the country's return to the global economy.

Minister Chinamasa, who told chartered accountants that the country expects a 7 percent economic growth in the coming years, was responding to questions from members who wanted him to give timeframes.

"Where we are going is prosperity for Zimbabwe and we are targeting 7 to 10 percent growth in 15-20 years. I can't give timeframes but already we have lost time, the problem is we need to sort out deficit and resolving it is not a walk in the park. Things are beginning to happen but there are no miracles," he said.

"We have to achieve milestones and let's have a brick by brick approach than to think we can have miracles. We have to build this country step by step and whoever promises you a miracle is misleading you."

Minister Chinamasa said the country was driving towards a new economy or new normal, which meant structural change was taking place.

"While we have managed to pay IMF, Zidera still remains in place and we can't put milestones on when will US lift it (Zidera). We need to sort out this political relationship so we get back to the global economy," said Minister Chinamasa who challenged ICAZ to come up with strategies to help Government.

He said economic recovery was being triggered by agriculture, tourism and mining sectors. Central Bank Governor, Dr John Mangudya, concurred saying the country needs a mindset change to correct a deficit of confidence.

Meanwhile, BDO Chattered Accountants Zimbabwe partner, Mr Martin Makaya, was elected the new ICAZ president for 2017-2018, taking over from Nicoz Diamond general manager, Mrs Gloria Zvaravanhu. Mrs Zvaravanhu was the second female president in the history of the institute after Mrs Emilia Chisango who was president in 2006. Mrs Zvaravanhu challenged members to strive for self-sustenance of the institute while also calling on continuation of gender equality. Her successor Mr Makaya vowed to promote the ICAZ brand, uphold and defend the body's by-laws as well as make sure the institute participates in sectorial events. ICAZ has a membership of about 5 000.

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