THE credible outcome of next week’s harmonised elections is expected to consolidate international confidence in Zimbabwe, thereby positioning the country for increased foreign direct investment (FDI) and robust economic growth, economist analysts say.
The debate around economic transformation is at the centre of the contest for votes among rival political parties in the country, after years of stagnation on the back of international isolation and crippling sanctions since the turn of the millennium.
Following the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe at the height of “Operation Restore Legacy” last November, the new dispensation led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa has championed a chain of economic reform measures, backed by an aggressive international re-engagement, which has charmed the world and enthused local stakeholders.
President Mnangagwa has become a champion of peace in all his campaign addresses and has, in line with his pledge for a free and credible election, invited local, regional and international observer missions to monitor the entire electoral process.
Economist and prominent businessman, Mr Luxon Zembe, said the prevailing peaceful environment must be allowed to continue beyond the election period. He said the upholding of democratic values and constitutional provisions of the rule of law, respect for private property and individual rights among others are factors that enhance attractiveness of a country to investment.
“These values and principles form the bedrock of our nation building. They are the bedrock of our individual and collective behaviours. And indeed they are the fundamental values and principles we use to choose and evaluate our national leaders because these values and principles define the Zimbabwe we want,” said Mr Zembe.
In an televised interview with e-TV, Mr Anele Ndlovu, president of the Zimbabwe-South Africa Forum, said a free, fair and transparent poll will endear Zimbabwe to the international community.
“The people of Zimbabwe need progress and a stable economy. For this to happen we need to regain international confidence so that we can attract FDI and people can start having interest in investing in the economy,” he said.
However, analysts have expressed concern over accusations of poll rigging by the opposition, mainly MDC Alliance led by Mr Nelson Chamisa, as well as threats of violence on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission officials. The stakeholders, including observer missions, have urged amicable resolution of perceived disputes and advised the opposition to seek recourse from the courts. – Chronicle