Clemence Machadu Insight
\nApologies to all the invaluable followers of Insight who missed the column last week. Your cowboy is, however, excited to be back, especially after a lot of crucial developments in the Republic and yonder. Let me start by congratulating my erstwhile neighbour here who wrote the Zhuwao Brief on being appointed Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister.

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Folks, Zimbabwe is not where it is supposed to be right now — it’s something we can all agree on.
\nBut there is no need for despondency and exaggeration of the status quo, as if what we are going through is insurmountable.
\nThere is a duo that has nothing good to write about when it comes to Zimbabwe — Todd Moss and Jeffrey Smith.

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What they say about the country stinks to high heaven — we can simply dismiss it on the mere basis of their entrenched bias and apparent hatred of the country’s leadership.

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But their last piece on the Centre for Global Development website, dated September 10, 2015, is worth interrogating.
\nIt ran under the title, “Why Washington and the IMF shouldn’t follow Zimbabwe over another cliff”.

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Todd Moss is a former US deputy assistant secretary of state for Africa, while Jeffrey Smith is an Africa specialist at the Robert F Kennedy Centre for Human Rights.

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A mere look at their job titles can easily delude the gullible into believing that the duo knows stuff about Africa, it will matter-of-factly turn out that these fellows are nothing but a bunch of clueless charlatans.

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Their recent article on Zimbabwe is a case in point.
\nWhile arguing that this is a wrong time for IMF to embrace Zimbabwe, they said: “Neither Zimbabwe’s economic policy or the country’s governance and human rights situation have fundamentally improved. If anything Zimbabwe is getting worse.”

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Their pessimism goes to the extent that they carefully pick a few statistics to paint a bleak picture about Zimbabwe.
\nWhen we bring to the fore the crucial aspects that they deliberately leave behind, for God knows what reason, we get a picture of a Zimbabwe that is rising, a Zimbabwe that is set for a major uplift.

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Every investor is a “coward” and no foreign investor would certainly want to pour his money into a country that is “getting worse”.
\nSo, to prove to Moss and Smith how wrong they are, let us look at the events of the last six months.

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The country received more than 60 foreign delegations from different continents that came to scout investment opportunities, with others laying their golden eggs.

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That, on average, translates to one foreign mission coming to Zimbabwe every three days!
\nThe last World Investment Report actually highlighted that FDI into Zimbabwe increased by 26,6 percent to US$545 million.
\nThis figure was never reached during the entire life of the inclusive Government.

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Now, if we achieved the above under the current investment laws that are said to be rigid, what will happen when we enhance them?
\nAnd indeed it’s happening.

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President Mugabe, in setting the legislative agenda last week, highlighted that 24 bills will be tabled before Parliament during its new session, and the majority of those touch on investment.

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The Companies Act will be overhauled, a One-Stop Investment Centre will be established, and special economic zones will be brought into force, among a raft of other measures.

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You can imagine what the eventual result will be.
\nIf Phillip de Leon, the head of the US trade mission that visited Zimbabwe in June said then that: “Zimbabwe is open to business. There are business opportunities everywhere,” what will he say after all these measures have been put in place?

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Investors coming to Zimbabwe, no matter how much those who hate Zimbabwe tell them, return with bold confidence that it is a place where they can make good returns.

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As was captured by a document published a few months ago by the British Embassy titled “Zimbabwe: Commercial Opportunities”, “A number of international firms have begun to make serious investment into Zimbabwe given high return opportunities.”

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When Moss and Smith say the “IMF shouldn’t follow Zimbabwe over another cliff”, you get the impression that the fund is about to release a quantum of billions to Zimbabwe and they are encouraging them not to do that.

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Yet they admit in their same piece that the powers that be in Zimbabwe “might be forgiven for believing that the IMF would be open to serious negotiations”.

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The duo said: “The IMF team visiting Zimbabwe will no doubt discuss narrow technical issues and economic indicators … but officials on both sides of the table will also know that their bosses will have politics at the forefront of their minds … each side knows that any promises made will not be honoured while Robert Mugabe remains in power.”

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So, here we can hypothetically extrapolate that the West will always lie about human rights violations, economic mismanagement, and anything else when all they really want is regime change.

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They simply don’t want President Mugabe in power, period!
\nLike I have always argued, the IMF has nothing to offer us. We may dynamically attain all their targets and benchmarks under the Staff Monitored Program, but to what end?

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It’s not like we are going to clear our debt today, so that they can start lending on the morrow.
\nNo, we have a long way to go to clear our debt. In any case, it’s also not like the IMF has not told us that “SMPs do not entail financial assistance or endorsement by the IMF executive board”.

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The highest voting quarters at IMF are in the hands of those who imposed sanctions on us!
\nSo, instead of sitting on the same bench in the park with IMF to enjoy the spectacle of watching the grass grow, let us expend our energies in looking for a thousand more Dangotes willing to invest today.

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Instead of waiting forever for the IMF to start giving us loans, with horrible interest anyway, let us look for 50 more countries like China that are ready to bring their billions into Zimbabwe now.

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Let’s look to Russia, to Brazil, to India, to those places that do not play silly regime change politics. Not to those who are waiting for a democratically-elected president to leave prematurely.

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Dr Godfrey Kanyenze, when he is not calling for the country’s leadership change, seems to be talking sensible stuff.
\nHe told delegates at a roundtable organised by the IMF and Finance Ministry a couple of weeks ago that: “The IMF Mission comes to Zimbabwe for only two weeks and there is no way they will understand the problems here better than we do. There is no way they can come up with prescriptions better than we can prescribe as a collective here in Zimbabwe.”

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And he was spot on.
\nYou see, the IMF comes here to learn, not to teach us anything. These multilateral institutions make mistakes.
\nIn the Millennium Project report, published by the United Nations in 2005, it confesses that, “What we have learned is the folly of assuming that we know too much.”

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The real intention of many who are busy writing negatively about Zimbabwe or pretending to be helping is really to discourage the investment momentum that is growing.

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Looks like these nemeses have a lot of hard work to do, as foreign investors seem to be becoming immune to such negative sentiments.
\nMany of those nemesis claim to be friends of Africa yet mocking that Zimbabwe is now a basket case when it used to be a breadbasket of Africa.
\nStinking hypocrisy! If they know that Zimbabwe is Africa’s breadbasket, then why bite the hand that feeds the continent you love?

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Let us not be set back by those who want to give us false alarms by diverting our attention from the things that actually matter for Zimbabwe’s imminent economic rebound.

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See you later folks!