By David Mutori
PRIVATISATION is about transferring underperforming state owned enterprises (SOEs) to those who are in the best positions to run them efficiently. Government has no business competing with private enterprise. Zimbabwe’s SOEs make huge losses but are continuously being bailed by the state and this creates an anti-competitive environment in the market. Bailing SOEs out means that nurses, doctors teachers have to pay more taxes to sustain the unprofitable and unviable parastatals.
As Zimbabweans, we must shift our mindset from our obsession with ownership towards utilisation and productivity. Zimbabwe’s SOEs have very weak balance sheets, provide very poor service, suffer from chronic bureaucracy and are very expensive to the taxpayer. Some of the SOEs even compete with private enterprise creating conflict of interests (as both competitor and regulator) for responsible the ministers.
This article seeks to make the argument for disposal of some parastatals as well as challenge some of the views put forward by Seven Tauzen (NewZimbabwe.com 13/01/2018).