Failed Kingdom banker and chairman of Zimbabwe Investment Authority Nigel Chanakira has blamed his uncle president Robert Mugabe’s radical ‘black empowerment’ programme known as indigenization for his organisation’s failure to lure rich foreigners to pour money into the country.
The government is considering closing ZIA, among a host of ‘authorities’ created to employ the dictator’s relatives like Chanakira, whose Kingdom Bank collapsed under a mountain of debt. ZIA executives have little to show after blowing hundreds of thousands of state funds attending foreign investment fairs and conferences, according to official statistics released recently.
Said Chanakira: “Investors from major source markets continue to highlight that the indigenization and economic empowerment in its current format is a serious hindrance to investment and as such the country should continue to refine it to ensure that there is a balance between empowerment and the need to attract the necessary foreign direct investment.”
Chanakira attended investment events in China and United Arab Emirates and hosted delegations from Namibia, South Africa, South Korea and Japan. The flamboyant banker also organised lavish golfing events and investment awards dinners which did not yield much.
ZIA statistics show that there was not a single cent from investment powerhouses like the United States, South Africa, or European Union, except for a minor deal from a United Kingdom investor. ZIA approvals totalled $600 million in 2013, all from China, Russia, United Kingdom, Israel and Curacao.
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