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My heart bleeds: Chinamasa

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FINANCE minister Patrick Chinamasa last Friday bared his soul on the state of the economy saying there was need for all stakeholders to brainstorm on the way forward and tone down on succession politics as it scared away potential investors.

BLESSED MHLANGA/
MOSES MATENGA

Speaking at the launch of a website-based financial news agency, The Source, on Friday, Chinamasa said the serious energy, water and economic challenges the country was facing needed investors, but these were being scared away by negative, “stupid and baseless” reports.

He said such issues would not be solved by talk of Zanu PF succession politics, but by sharing of ideas and engagement on the way forward.

“That is what bleeds my heart. To say the least, it bleeds my heart,” Chinamasa said.

“What you write about your country is amplified outside and wherever I go, I am made to explain stupid reports which have no basis and facts,” he added.

“No one is interested in that; everyone is interested in succession issues like who is doing what to who?

“That does not build the country, what builds the country is writing accurate news.”

Chinamasa ruled out the return of the Zimbabwe dollar saying it needed to be supported by money and therefore would not happen any time soon.

“When I was appointed (minister) the first question I was asked by a reporter was whether the Zimbabwe dollar would return,” he said.

“I made it very categorical that there would be no return of the Zimbabwe dollar currency.

“I thought that had been resolved (but) each week, the same people have been saying I was about to bring back the Zimbabwe dollar. If you analyse that, you realise it’s either out of mischief or they are completely unaware of the economy. Even if I wanted to, it would not happen overnight and it can’t be a secret anyway. It requires a lot of money.”

Chinamasa said foreigners were afraid to come to Zimbabwe based on information they read about adding that a foreign journalist told him that she was in Botswana, but could not cross over to Zimbabwe because “there is indigenisation”.

Chinamasa said the water, road network, energy and manufacturing problems bedevilling the country would not be solved overnight because they were a billion dollar problem.

“Every road now is in bad shape and rehabilitation requires a lot of money.

“Every reporter should know we have a problem with our road network which is dilapidated and to address that is not a $1 business, we need millions if not billions of dollars.”

He said reporters should know basics of the problems in Zimbabwe, including power deficit, water, manufacturing crises and other challenges and proffer constructive ideas on how to address the problems.

“Every economic reporter should be able to know that there is a water problem. The former (Harare) mayor Muchadeyi Masunda is here; he tried but left the problem unfinished. Let’s not apportion blame, it’s too late for that, the situation is already apparent, the reality is there is no water even in leafy suburbs like Borrowdale and that can’t be addressed overnight,” he said.

“Every economic reporter should know that the manufacturing industry is on its back, not even on its knees. We need complete overhauling and retooling and that’s where we need foreign direct investment. They don’t come in a country where all they hear is negative news. It needs someone so daring to come to Zimbabwe because they think there will be shootings at the airport,” Chinamasa added.

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