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ZIDA Act Moved From The Finance Ministry To The Office of President Mnangagwa

President Mnangagwa's Speech At The Opening Of The 10th Parliament

Harare | The Ministry of Finance, Economic Development, and Investment Promotion has handed over management of the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA) Act to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office.

There are worries that the president is trying to take full control of the nation’s major economic sectors by consolidating his power through this move.

The ZIDA Act was initially under the authority of the Finance Minister but has now been amended through two Statutory Instruments to be administered by the president. In Statutory Instrument 224 of 2023, Mnangagwa stated that the ZIDA Act is no longer under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development while Statutory Instrument 225 of 2023 states that he will be in charge of administering the AIDA Act. Statutory Instrument 224 of 2023 reads:

THE Assignment of Functions Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion) Notice, 2018, published in Statutory Instrument 197 of 2023, is amended by the deletion of the following item in the Schedule thereto: “Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency Act [Chapter 14:38] (Act No. 10 of 2019)”. Supplement to the Zimbabwean Government Gazette dated the 10th November, 2023.

Statutory Instrument 225 of 2023 reads:

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THE Assignment of Functions (His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe) Notice, 2023, published in Statutory Instrument 189 of 2023, is amended by the inclusion of the following item in the Schedule thereto: “Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency Act [Chapter 14:38] (Act No. 10 of 2019)”. Supplement to the Zimbabwean Government Gazette dated the 10th November, 2023.

Under the ZIDA Act, the Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube, had various responsibilities related to promoting and implementing investment strategies to attract both domestic and foreign investors. His role included promoting the decentralization of investment activities and coordinating investment programs. He was also responsible for facilitating the entry and implementation of investment projects.

Additionally, Ncube was tasked with working alongside stakeholders to use modern communication methods in promoting Zimbabwe as an appealing investment destination. He was also responsible for fostering dialogue and consultations between the public and private sectors to enhance the investment climate across all sectors of the economy.

Furthermore, the Finance Minister had the duty to establish and regulate Special Economic Zones, as well as assess and recommend public-private partnerships to the Cabinet for approval. Ncube was also expected to provide investor aftercare services, which included support for investment retention and expansion after establishment.

Economic analyst Mike Vareta expressed concerns that the removal of the ZIDA Act from the Finance Minister’s authority gives President Mnangagwa more power to negotiate deals in secrecy. Vareta told NewsDay that this lack of transparency could make it difficult for investors to understand opportunities in Zimbabwe. He recommends that the government focus on creating a favourable investment environment by improving infrastructure, reducing corruption, and ensuring fair competition.

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Political analyst Romeo Chasara believes the removal of the ZIDA Act from the Finance Minister’s authority will make it more difficult for investors to operate in Zimbabwe and may be an attempt to consolidate power in the hands of the President. This could negatively impact the private sector and hinder economic growth.

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