Archaic laws impede economic growth: Industry

Captains of industries have blamed archaic laws and by-laws being used by local authorities for impeding on the various business initiatives and the ease of doing business.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) Matabeleland Chapter president Shepherd Chawira said local authorities should not only concentrate on maximising revenue collection but also should vie for business growth.

Chawira made these remarks during the 78th Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (Ucaz) and Local Government Investment Conference (Logic), Thursday.

He placed much emphasis on the need for municipalities to regulate economic growth.

“Many local authorities in Zimbabwe are operating under archaic laws and municipal by-laws that do not take into account the changing business environment and globalisation. Over a period of time, many obstacles that comprise of high taxes and rates, long registration and licencing processes and policy adjustments, have continuously been the order of the day in both urban and rural authorities in Zimbabwe, he said.

“These issues have further portrayed the Zimbabwe local governance in a bad picture as local authorities are viewed as regulating for revenue and not for business growth, creating a perception of local authorities not being favourable to support business growth.”

Chawira said with the talk of devolution, provincial and local authorities should position themselves, via ease of doing business reforms, to attract local investment into their areas of jurisdiction.

He added that it is imperative for local authorities to formulate regulations that promote a conducive environment for business thereby promoting local economic development

“Businesses want to set up operations in areas that make them more viable and competitive not only at national level but at local level as well. Zimbabwe is ranked 140 out of 190 on the ease of doing business world rankings, an improvement from a ranking of 155 the previous year,” Chawira said.

 “While the move is commendable, more needs to be done to get the rankings to a level where investors feel comfortable investing in the country.”

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