Mine grab will only benefit clever ones: Supa

Ordinary Zimbabweans will not benefit from the forced indigenisation of foreign-owned mines because they are not clever enough, says Supa Mandiwanzira, president of the Affirmative Action Group.

Supa Mandiwanzira
Supa Mandiwanzira

Delivering a lecture at Midlands State University titled "Demystifying Indigenisation", the former broadcaster, who has become fabulously wealthy on the indigenisation ticket, said: “We shall not lie to people that everyone will benefit from the 51% policy.”

He said it was “only the clever ones that are near the opportunities and have the knowledge of the companies that will benefit".

Mandiwanzira took an uncharacteristic swipe at his Zanu (PF) masters, who are fighting for shares in the lucrative Zimplats platinum mine.

He said the AAG, founded by President Mugabe’s nephew Phillip Chiyangwa, was against those “stepping on each others toes in a bid to get a controlling stake of the company”.

"We ask these people that we have been reading about to back off. Zimplats is a big company that cannot be taken by an individual. We are saying every Zimbabwean should benefit from such big profit-making companies. Therefore everyone should get the shares instead of one person."

But he quickly added that it would not be possible for everyone to benefit from the policy, whereby 51% of all foreign-owned companies must be ceded to local shareholders.

"There is no democracy in business, to be able to get into business, you need to be clever and wise, possess the ability to work very hard, to be strong such that you are able to rise again if you fall. It’s highly competitive and individualistic in nature,” he said.

Despite, incontrovertible evidence that the Indigenisation Act has scared off international investors, Mandiwanzira insisted it had now.

"Those who claim the act is scaring investors away are lying,” he said. “How can they be scared aware by a law? They want platinum, gold and other things that we have so they will still come to invest because we have what they want. Bill Gates, who is said to be the richest person, only owns 12% of Microsoft. Yet our law offers the foreigners 49%.”

He added that Zimbabwe’s indigenisation laws could not be compared to other countries, saying “other countries do not need it because they do not have the natural resources that foreigners badly need to exploit”.

Without providing any statistics to back up his claims, he insisted: "If you go to the Ministry of Mines you will find long queues of foreigners who want to invest in mining so it means investors are coming."

Mandiwanzira claimed that with the exception of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, all other coalition partners acknowledge that the Indigenisation Act was a good policy.

“The Prime Minister is the only one who is not educated. He belongs to the minority and if he continues to oppose indigenisation, he will lose his supporters,” Mandiwanzira told journalists.

“Criticism of Zanu (PF) fat cats without including MDC fat cats smacks of sinister hidden agendas really,” he said.

Post published in: News

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