No more talk shows, says SEZs CEO

THE strategic plan to guide implementation of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the country will be out by end of July and thereafter there will be no more talk shows but real work, SEZ chief executive officer, Mr Edwin Kondo, has said.

Zimbabwe has embraced SEZs as a viable model to transform the economy in line with global trends through creating a favourable climate for attracting increased Foreign Direct Investment and efficient production processes.

Mr Kondo, who has been recently appointed to steer the operationalisation of the SEZs model, acknowledged widespread anxiety over the delays and pledged quick transformation, working closely with all stakeholders.

“Certainly by end of July we will be talking about licensing entities, we will be talking about projects that will have been identified, working with the technical group and closely with all the stakeholders in Bulawayo,” he said in an interview.

“So, it’s important that we don’t just talk. By the  time we come back in July we will be telling the population substantial things and that will be exciting news.”

Mr Kondo and his team, which included board chair and former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, Dr Gideon Gono, have been in Bulawayo for four days since the weekend, for engagements. They concluded their programme on Tuesday with a stakeholders’ dialogue on SEZs at the Bulawayo City Council Chambers.

“We spent the last four days developing the strategic plan for the Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority. Board members, in particular the Bulawayo board members, were here and we have just finalised that now,” said Mr Kondo.

The visit saw the team engage with the local authority, provincial administration and technical working group that was set for SEZs.

“We are developing a model on how we can implement this concept for Bulawayo and that’s what brings us here,” added Mr Kondo.

He said details of the resolutions and  roadmap of their implementation programme will be disclosed in due course but insisted that a proposition for Bulawayo has already been discussed.

“We can’t talk of actual projects before the gazetting of the legal instrument is done. We expect that to be done in next week or two and then we will share that information.

“Just give us time and the strategic plan, the legal instruments, regulations and fees will be out certainly out by end of July and by that time we can start talk about implementing things, and Bulawayo will be a priority,” said Mr Kondo. – Chronicle.