Posted by Tafadzwa Mukome
Reaching full potential towards economic recovery will only be a pipe dream if certain factors that continue to affect industry players are not addressed .
Factors such as power outages , lack of foreign currency and fuel shortages are just a tip of the iceberg to reaching full capacity utilisation.
This came to light during a panel discussion at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe Bulawayo business indaba were players in the sector highlighted the different obstacles hampering production.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president for Matebeleland Chapter Sheppard Chawira blamed the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s failure to settle legacy debts as a major contributing factor.
Chawira said there should be a specific time frame and plan to the payment of legacy debts to creditors.
The issue of the mono currency and re-dollerisation is also putting pressure on the formal sector which makes up only 30% of the economy in that most transactions for inputs are dollarised and charged in foreign currency particularly the US Dollar by players in the informal sector.
Some members in the audience accused the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe of fuelling the above mentioned problem by turning a blind eye on the informal foreign currency exchange market as it continued to thrive despite the central bank saying it was implementing measures to deal with the informal foreign currency exchange market.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Principal Economist Dr Nebson Mupunga argued that the issue of pricing was fueling the black market rates as most people preferred changing their monies were prices were higher and there was a need to stabilize pricing so that transactions can be conducted on the formal exchange market.
Walter Chigwada the Managing Director for Mealie Brand , however believes that despite all these challenges economic recovery can still be achieved if the issue of corruption is dealt with providing tangible results.
The same view on dealing with corruption was also reiterated by Economist Stevenson Dhlamini .
The panel however made some recommendations to government which include building confidence in its people on currency matters and actual implementation of price stabilisation policies.