Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda has questioned why Zimbabwe does not have a Diaspora policy and Act that encourages remittances into the country in view of the ZimAsset economic blueprint promulgated in 2013.
Addressing delegates at the just-ended Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) 2017 annual congress in Victoria Falls on Wednesday, Mudenda said the country experienced a negative multiplier effect since 2013 as evidenced by widening fiscal deficit, decline in Diaspora remittances, acute liquidity challenges and precarious investment.
“Let me take one item, Diaspora remittances. How can we glorify ourselves and say we are expecting Diaspora remittances when we do not have a Diasporans policy, when we do not have a legal framework that guarantees the remittances of Diasporans that they will be secure in the country in terms of property rights?” Mudenda asked.
“Ethiopia were there, where many people dying of hunger a few years ago. Today, it receives $4 billion annually from their Diasporans. Why? Because they have a policy in place (and) have the legal framework in place.”
Mudenda said it was not surprising that when the Ethiopian government, when it wanted to build a dam, Diasporans there bought bonds to fund the project to ensure that money was not borrowed outside.
“Why is the policy not there after the promulgation of ZimAsset? Why is the law not there while the Parliament is there? This is the anchor of economic adventurism that creates the new normal economy,” he said.
“For this to happen, conscious efforts could be made in crafting and adapting to new influences of businesses. This is where Parliament comes in as the supreme representatives and legislative institutions in Zimbabwe.”
Mudenda asked whether ZNCC has been making microscopic analysis of ZimAsset projections to find out where, whether or not, there has been an alignment of the objections of the policy and the intended outcomes.
“We cannot develop outside the context of a national development agenda,” he said.
ZimAsset, which expires in 2018, envisaged an average annual growth rate of 7,3%.
The gross domestic product growth was expected to continue on an upward growth trajectory to 9,9% by 2018 and more than $20bn was required to fund it. He said Parliament was not satisfied with rate of legal reforms, which are a necessity to create a new normal economy.
“We have not lived up to the spirit of the constitution in so far as the passing the ease of doing business bills is concerned. There is, therefore, urgent need for Parliament to ameliorate this negative legislative process,” Mudenda said.