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US govt happy with TSP

The United States government says  Zimbabwe’s latest economic blueprint, The Transitional Stabilisation  Programme (TSP) can address the economy’s weaknesses if fully  implemented and help boost investor confidence.

The TSP, a child of Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli  Ncube, is the foundation upon which President Mnangagwa’s government  aims to springboard the economy to an upper-middle-income status by  2030.

The blueprint themed “Towards a prosperous & empowered  upper-middle-income society by 2030,” runs until December 2020.

In its 2019 assessment of the investment climate in Zimbabwe, the US  State Department noted positive moves taken by the new administration in Harare, while expressing reservations on what it said were slow pace of  reform implementation and rampant corruption.

“The Transitional Stabilisation Programme, announced in 2018, includes structural and fiscal reforms that, if fully implemented, would resolve  many of the economy’s fundamental weaknesses,” said the US State Department in its July 11, executive summary of the 2019 investment  climate statement on Zimbabwe.

The US said investors were still cautious when choosing to invest in the country, awaiting to see wholesome changes while lauding the new  administration’s quick initiative in dealing with once-controversial foreign ownership laws, which were changed from applying to the rest of  the economy save for diamonds and platinum sectors.

“The Government announced its commitment to improving transparency, streamlining business regulations, and removing corruption, but the last  two years have brought only modest progress,” said the US government’s  most powerful arm.

The US expressed concern on levels of corruption which it said “remains  rife.” Government has since moved to deal with graft through the  appointment of a new Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, whose members  were sworn into office this week.

Under the leadership of Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo, the new ZACC has  said it will leave no stone unturned in stemming graft, with over 200 cases including high profile individuals already under investigation.

Washington also noted commitment by the government to respect and  protect property rights in the aftermath of the land reform programme.

Relations between Zimbabwe and the US remain uneasy as Washington has kept its sanctions on Harare for nearly two decades.

The embargo continues to choke Zimbabwe’s economic performance as their  maintenance not only paints the country as rogue nation, blocking  investor interest and financial support from multi-lateral  organisations, while complicating cross border financial transactions  that benefit the country.

Harare, through its re-engagement agenda, is working towards the restoration of relations with Washington that will result in the lifting  of the sanctions. — New Ziana.

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