Indigenisation policy derailing economic growth-Mashakada

The Zanu (PF)-driven indigenisation policy that compels foreign-owned companies with a threshold of $500,000 and above to cede 51 percent of their stake to locals is derailing economic growth as it is scaring away investors, the Economic Planning Minister, Tapiwa Mashakada says.

Tapiwa Mashakada
Tapiwa Mashakada

Addressing thousands of supporters at an MDC-T rally at Huruyadzo shopping center in Chitungwiza on Saturday, Mashakada said his party's policies encouraged economic growth but were being disrupted by the Zanu (PF) sponsored indigenisation program.

"Zanu (PF) is discouraging economic growth with the indigenisation programme. Zanu (PF) is mad. How can it seek to indigenize while it is growing grass on the farms it took (from white commercial farmers)? A country is a country when it has a healthy economy. MDC policies encourage investment but they are being derailed by (this) indigenisation," Mashakada said.

From 2000, President Robert Mugabe led a fast track land redistribution programme that forced out more than 4,500 white commercial farmers on the pretext of resettling landless blacks.

The hurried programme, however, has come under sharp criticism for failing to effectively empower the resettled people, with most of the farms going idle.

The controversial indigenisation program is already being implemented in the mining sector, where numerous mines have already complied with the requirement to cede a majority stake.

The indigenisation policies is seen by critics as a political strategy by Zanu (PF) to buy votes ahead of a crucial election likely in 2013.

Foreign investors fear that, in the event that they invest in Zimbabwe, they may be forced to surrender their shareholding to locals in a way that disrupts business.

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