Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa yesterday told Parliament that he slept quite well at night because he foresaw the flood gates to Zimbabwe’s economic development and turnaround opening.
“I keep telling people that I sleep well because I see the stirrings of an economic recovery. I see the entrepreneurship that in fact, is very evident among our people,” he said.
“It is coming right across the economy and across all sectors. What is happening in the gold sector; you can ask Hon. Nduna or Hon. Matambanadzo …… Artisanal miners are now contributing 40% of our gold production. Last year it was 21.6 metric tonnes. 40% of that came from our artisanal miners.
“If you look at what is happening with cotton and what is happening under Command Agriculture; just look at what is happening across the board, it is a very impressive record.
“It is something that cannot happen overnight but it is already beginning to happen. Please keep your eyes open, give it encouragement and not comment negatively on those who fail because a lot of them will make attempts, not everyone will succeed.
“Our problem is that we have a culture of laughing at failure. Failure is a good basis for success. It teaches you very good lessons if you want to try again,” he said.
Chinamasa also said another problem was that people still thought in the old ways.
“We have all been damaged mentally by colonialism and we define ourselves in new terms. We should try very hard to define ourselves in new language, in new terms. Define ourselves as people who can do it,” he said.
“The major problem that we confront among our people is, the damage of colonialism made them feel they are incapable, made them feel they are just workers, they have to look for employment, made them feel they cannot be employers.
“It is very catalystic. If you (look)at children from the white community and children from the black community at same school. At the school in primary, the white boy is now saying, I am going to be an employer, yet the black boy is saying, I am going to look for employment.
“That is the mind shift that we have. As people mourn, where is employment? They never asked themselves, what employment am I creating for other people. All they can think is where is the employment?
“Who is going to give that employment to you and your community? Who is going to create it? Government cannot create employment. What Government can do is to create a conducive environment for those who are creative, who are entrepreneurs to create jobs and make money for themselves.
“People should be asking us, coming to Government to say, please your environment is not conducive enough to do a, b, c and d. We are quite happy and we will listen.
“The period we are going through in terms of the development of our economy is a transitional period. Formal businesses collapsed. I want to say that in 2000, there were two million people in formal employment. Over the years, because of the challenges that we have faced, we now have only half a million. This means the rest of the people are now in the informal sector.”