Victoria Ruzvidzo Business Focus
“There is no random success. We all need to come up with pragmatic and carefully thought through solutions to rebalance or resize the economy which is currently going through a myriad of both endogenous and exogenous challenges. â€œThe policy measures and advice given in this statement are meant to deliver warm winds of economic recovery to every corner of the nation

“We need to be guided by the philosophy that a strong economy is the wellspring of Zimbabwe’s national strength. There is great need to harness our God-given resources to develop the country for current and future generations.

“May God bless Zimbabwe.”

These are words of wisdom spoken by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya as he concluded his monetary policy statement last week.

In essence he stressed it was everyone’s responsibility to ensure the economy turned around, something that would obviously not happen through wishful thinking, murmuring, complaining or any such energy-usurping trait that many are now so accustomed to.

After an account of what he proposed as measures and strategies that could fish the country out of the current murky waters, Dr Mangudya said reviving Zimbabwe was not just the responsibility of monetary and fiscal authorities but for every Zimbabwean resident and non-resident. “Sacrifice” being the operative word.

Zimbabwe needs practical solutions to restore the economy and consequently improve the standard of living for its citizenry.

Indeed, many sacrifices have already been made, starting with the liberation struggle itself and other selfless efforts that were made and are still being made in some cases to bring the economy back to its feet.

There are individuals who have taken it upon themselves to do the best they can to improve the economy while some companies and institutions are also in an active mode to get the economy going.

The sad reality though is that those individuals and institutions that are not doing much about the situation are in the majority and some are even trying to destroy where others are building.

Self-introspection is critical in this instance because whatever is contained in the monetary policy and the fiscal policy will not amount to much if the attitude remains that of selfishness and self-aggrandisement.

The monetary policy has generally been described as progressive, pro-poor and in touch with reality. I am still to dissect the entire document but what we have scanned through so far reflects that it’s a well-thought-out document that gives hope and puts the spotlight on a lot of possibilities.

The 3,1 percent GDP growth anticipated this year remains in sight but will largely depend on how we all contribute to the sum total.

Measures raised in the document include:

◆ Recapitalisation of the Reserve Bank to be able to carry out some of its key functions ($100 million provided by Government)

◆ Resumption of the interbank market (following $200 million support facility from Afrexim Bank)

◆ Plans to ramp up gold production to 30 tonnes to increase gold exports revenue to $1,5 billion by 2020

◆ Increase in the threshold for foreign capital investment without exchange control approval ($7,5 million to $10 million).

◆ Plans to introduce investment schemes for people in the Diaspora as annual remittances near $2 billion

◆ Plans to mobilise funding to help distressed industry raise production and consolidation of US$-backed bond coins to enhance competitiveness on industry and economy

◆ Demonitisation of the Zimbabwe dollar balances held by banks ($20 million set aside for the exercise).

These and a host of others are sector to consolidate performance of the financial sectors and other sectors of the economy, creating an enabling environment for sustainable recovery.

That was spot-on Dr Phillip Chiyangwa Sir!

On Monday businessman Dr Phillip Chiyangwa made very profound statements as in his acceptance speech at the Zimbabwe Business Council awards when he spoke passionately about the disease of waiting for this or that has seen Zimbabweans lose opportunities that we could have easily grabbed and made the most of.

Dr Chiyangwa, who was awarded a Business Lifetime Achievement for his rags to riches story as he traversed the business terrain, said many Zimbabweans were just watching from the terraces waiting for things to happen instead of them causing those things to happen.

He said the current economic environment, though challenging, had immense opportunities that Zimbabweans needed to seize to make a difference, as he described how he would not allow himself to miss any possible opportunity as he navigated the business world.

“Zimbabweans have a tendency of waiting for something to happen and that disease of waiting results in us losing opportunities . . .

“You should stop this waiting culture and do as Strive Masiyiwa (founder of Econet Wireless) did, what (Dr Shingi) Munyeza (Africa Sun Limited chief executive) is doing.”

He said the current economic challenges would not be solved by waiting for a conducive environment but that recovery would be jump-started by those who took risks and grabbed every opportunity.

Dr Chiyangwa’s remarks drew a lot of laughter and applause from the audience when he said when President Mugabe went on holiday many were waiting for him to come back and reshuffle his Cabinet but this had not happened and people were still waiting.

Indeed, this was a very profound word of caution and advice from a man who has never ceased to attract controversy in many aspects of his life but has not let it stand in his way. Instead, he seems to ride on the controversy as he forces his way up.

Certainly, Zimbabweans need not wait or adopt a wait-and-see attitude.

It is critical that local investors position themselves strategically so that no one will be caught napping once the economy comes right – which is soon according to prophecy.

It would be a sad day were foreigners to grab everything while the locals were waiting and napping.

There is so much that can be done presently to rebuild the economy as the proper infrastructure so much needed is being worked out.

There is so much that can be done with the available though limited financial resources as we anticipate an improvement in the liquidity situation. I salute those firms that have decided to innovate and forged ahead in their business, introducing new products and production systems to fend off operational difficulties.

Where many are resigning to fate, others are choosing to stand up and fight off the negative effects through various ways and means, some of which I have just highlighted.

So as aptly said by Dr Chiyangwa, we need not wait for everything to fall into place but it is incumbent upon everyone to make the most of what is currently available.

The results of such an attitude will be there for all to see.

In God I trust!

Till next week, remain blessed!

◆ Email: victoria.ruzvidzo@zimpapers.co.zw

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