The Sunday Mail
THE law that will provide legal underpinning for the envisaged Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency should provide specific timelines for investment registration processes.
Following countrywide consultations, a joint report by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce as well as that on Foreign Affairs and International Trade also called for a clear framework and the creation of a health desk to encourage investments in the health sector.
The ZIDA Bill, which was gazetted in April, will integrate all the agencies that are responsible for processing investments under one roof. This will facilitate ease of doing business.
The report’s recommendations go on to propose that a ZIDA board should be made up of three members of the public and five people from the private sector. Members should only serve two four-year terms.
The two portfolio committees also proposed the inclusion of a clause which sets the maximum value of provincial investments at $1 million.
Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu told The Sunday Mail that more recommendations are expected from the portfolio committees.
“When there is an outreach, committees provide reports and make recommendations for the ministry to consider,” he said.
“The team has just returned from a familiarisation tour in Rwanda. They said they are reconsidering some of the recommendations they had made, they will send an updated report soon.
“I am pleased that Members of Parliament are debating this Bill and looking at it closely. The Bill is very important, we will expedite it,” said Minister Ndlovu.
The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) is famed for being accommodative to investors. Government intends to replicate that model.
In an interview, chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce, Mr Joshua Sacco said the two committees are now seized with compiling recommendations from their Rwanda experiences.
“Members of the Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce as well as that of Foreign Affairs and International Trade travelled for about a week to Rwanda. The main objective of our trip was to get an understanding of the Rwanda Development Board and their special economic zones,” he said.
“We learnt that in order to reduce bureaucracy and avoid corruption, most processes should be taken online. That is what they are doing in Rwanda. The RDB chief executive officer also sits in Cabinet.
“Our Bill, the ZIDA Bill, is still in Parliament. We will make revisions to increase the effectiveness of the Agency,” said Honourable Sacco.
He said the Bill, which is now at committee stage, is expected to go for third reading by September.
It will be debated when Parliament resumes sitting on August 27.