Former Botswana president Ian Khama has warned Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa to only allow in investors who’ll create employment for significant numbers of Zimbabweans.
In quotes carried by Daily News on Sunday, Khama told a Confederation of Zimbabwe Industry Investment Forum in the second city of Bulawayo last week: “Every government is responsible for finding ways of creating employment for its people and not for creating employment for outsiders.”
‘Not one person coming in’
Khama – who’s been much more supportive of new president Mnangagwa than he ever was of former president Robert Mugabe – said: “I am not talking about one person coming in and employing one person.”
He added: “I am talking about people, investors who will come in and genuinely add value to your economy and allow your economy to grow.”
Mnangagwa, 75, has been open about his desire to attract foreign investment as a way of giving a boost to Zimbabwe’s ailing economy and solving foreign currency shortages, which are worsening by the week.
Chinese storekeepers under fire
Although Khama didn’t make reference to a specific group of investors that Mnangagwa should be wary about, his words may well be a reference to Chinese businesses which have shown a keen interest in Zimbabwe in
recent years. Locals are fiercely critical of some Chinese shopkeepers who operate in downtown Harare and do not always bank their takings.
Earlier this year, DRC ambassador to Zimbabwe Mawampanga Mwana Nanga warned Mnangagwa of opening Zimbabwe’s doors to “dirty and corrupt” investors, according to the private NewsDay.