Indigenisation: Bob tries to con West, PDP

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s apparent indigenisation climb-down this week is insincere and an attempt to “mislead the nation and other international stakeholders”, the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has said.

Indigenisation cannot be softened or clarified ... Jacob Mafume

Indigenisation cannot be softened or clarified … Jacob Mafume

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa is in the US and needs help as he seeks funding for the bankrupt regime, thus Mugabe’s apparent attempt to suggest he is interested in economic reform, the PDP said in a statement Wednesday.

This comes after Mugabe intervened to end the row between his ministers over the controversial policy, admitting that it was causing confusion and hurting the country’s chances of attracting foreign investment.

The veteran leader won praise as he offered some concessions, contradicting his radical empowerment minister and nephew Patrick Zhuwao who threatened to shut down foreign companies and banks which fail to comply with the law.

But it’s all smoke and mirrors, the PDP which is led by former finance minister Tendai Biti warned.

“Mugabe’s statement is being celebrated in some circles as a progressive development that offers and provides a Damascene moment to the Zimbabwean economy given the hard-line stance the nonagenarian leader has often toured,” said party spokesman Jacob Mafume.

“However, in our view, the statement is a mendacious and dishonest spin intended to arm Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa who is currently in Washington D.C, USA for the World Bank’s spring meetings with a propaganda tool.

“The statement, like the Zimbabwe Staff Monitoring Programme, is therefore lipstick on a pig in order to seduce gullible members of the international community by creating a semblance of reform.”

The government’s empowerment policy forces foreign companies to ensure 51 percent of their operations are owned and controlled by Zimbabweans.

But PDP insisted that the policy is unworkable and disastrous for the economy.

“For instance, to start mining for platinum, a minimum of $400 million is required. It is virtually impossible to get a serious foreign investor to put such a large sum of money and become a minority shareholder in the business,” said Mafume.

“This arrangement is absurd as they are mining giants such as Zimplats, which are valued at over US$1 billion who dominate this sector.

You can’t put lipstick on a pig

“How will local Zimbabweans be expected to afford money to purchase 51% of Zimplats, Murowa Mines, Metallion Gold, Rio Tinto and Anglo American shares?

“Even if such money was to be raised it would be far more prudent to invest it on the upper levels of the minerals value chains such as beneficiation.”

Mafume also said Mugabe’s decision that “sector-based empowerment quotas will be granted and agreed upon through negotiations involving the relevant line ministers and the private investors” would only lead to corruption.

“This negotiation as far as the PDP is concerned will lead to corruption.  It does not work and will result in ministers owning mansions and offshore accounts as in the past.

“Leaving Zanu PF ministers alone to negotiate privately with investors will result in corruption.”

The PDP spokesman added: “We make the point once again that Zanu PF and Mugabe have failed and should resign immediately.

“Our prayer is that the international community, which is intended to be fooled by Mugabe and the Zanu PF government, will not be fooled.

“No one can put lipstick on a pig. Indigenisation cannot be softened or clarified; it simply needs to be repealed.”

 

Post published in: Economy

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