Zimbabwe Calls on Investors to Buy Shares

Zimbabwean President

Zimbabwean government in the bid to resuscitate its ailing economy, has called on investors to buy shares in 35 state-owned firms, including telecoms and mining entities.

The Zimbabwean Minister for Finance, Patrick Chinamasa revealed this on Friday.

The Minister said the decision by the Zimbabwean government is aimed at improving the economic well-being of the nation.

The Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who came to power in November 2017 after a de facto military coup forcing Robert Mugabe to resign, has made reviving the economy his primary responsibility.

Chinamasa told reporters in Harare that Mnangagwa’s cabinet on Tuesday decided the government would partially sell some shares in a range of state-owned companies, known locally as parastatals.

“This would be done through engaging strategic partners and floating shares on the local stock exchange.

“Targeted firms include mobile carriers NetOne and Telecel, fixed-line operator TelOne and savings bank POSB, all owned by the state. Shares in 17 government-run mines would also be sold.

“Like most parastatals, the mines, which mainly produce gold, have struggled over the years due to lack of capital and mismanagement, forcing some to close,” the minister said.

Chinamasa said the reform was “designed to enhance performance, improve services delivery and to bring more order, discipline and rationality to the sector as a whole.”

He said that the government ministries would present privatisation strategies to the cabinet for each entity within 100 days.

“Some state regulators will become government departments while others will merge to save costs and minimise bureaucracy.

“The Special Economic Zones Authority will merge with three others, including the Zimbabwe Investment Authority to provide a one-stop shop for investors.

Speaking on the Zimbabwean government’s decision, John Robertson, an economic analyst opined that “it is the right thing to do but the government should go a step further and say we are moving out altogether out of these companies”.

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