From NewsDay BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
BUSINESS people, companies and investment funds around the world are taking a “second look” at Zimbabwe, with a view of bringing in fresh investment into the country following the recent ouster of Robert Mugabe as President, an official has said.
Comfort Creek Land Developers chief executive officer and head of the Zimbabwean Diaspora Network in North America, Pedzi Makumbe, told NewsDay that people in the diaspora were excited about the new developments in the country.
“I asked for input (views of diasporans on the new government) from about 150 business people in the diaspora, mostly in South Africa and the USA, and a few from United Kingdom. In general, the new government is exciting, and we are looking forward to working with the government,” Makumbe said.
“A lot of business people, companies and investment funds are taking a second look at Zimbabwe, which is exciting. However, people are looking to the government’s next tangible steps.”
He said Zimbabweans in the diaspora would invest into the country, if it take steps in the right direction.
“The diaspora definitely has the money to invest. However, Zimbabwe is not the only investment opportunity. There might be a few passion-driven investments here and there, but at the end of the day good economics wins,” he said.
Diasporans contribute an average of $1 billion annually in remittances to Zimbabwe.
Makumbe said despite the positive general impression, diasporans really needed to see results on the ground.
“At the end of the day, that’s what really counts. The Cabinet picks indicate that it might be a gradual change, but we are excited and looking forward to working with the government,” he said.
“We do hope that the government will weed out some of the corruption, and improve the business environment. Zimbabweans are resilient and entrepreneurial, and with these two, the country can go far.”
Comfort Creek Land Developers were last year awarded a permit by the Bulawayo City Council to develop upmarket town houses in the city at a cost of $1,6 million.
The development project, Leandar Villas, is set to have 12 three-bedroomed housing units enclosed in a complex.
“Our townhouse development complex right next to the Hillside Dams is going really well. We are wrapping up the show house in a couple of days, and other properties are coming up as well,” Makumbe said.
“We have had tremendous response so far, but we are quite selective in who we work with – all boxes have to be ticked. It’s proving to be a success, and we will definitely make more investments in the country.”