Mugabe statement on indigenisation misleading

The presidential statement issued on Tuesday by Robert Mugabe to clarify the indigenisation and economic empowerment policy is an attempt to mislead the nation and other international stakeholders.

President Robert Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe

However, it has not dawned on Zanu PF that it can fool some people some of the times but cannot fool all the people all the time.

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.

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.

As the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), we have always argued that the indigenisation policy, which places 51% in local ownership and 49% in foreign investment, will not work and won’t work.

The indigenisation and economic empowerment policy has been a disaster for Zimbabwe and is responsible for preventing foreign direct investment (FDI).

In 2015, Zimbabwe received a paltry $400 million in foreign direct investment.

In his statement, Mugabe deals with four issues.

Zimbabwe is endowed with serious natural resources in the form of gold, platinum and chrome.  These minerals require huge investments to mine.  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.

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

With regards to the non-resource sector, Mugabe has directed that sector-based empowerment quotas will be granted and agreed upon through negotiations involving the relevant line ministers and the private investors.

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.

Regarding the reserved sectors, nowhere in the Indigenisation and Economic Act is there a provision of the reserve sector.  Mugabe is ultra vires the Act.   We are aware that the Zimbabwe Investment Authority Act has some sectors being reserved for certain sectors such as retail and wholesale.

On the reserved sectors, it is absurd that only local companies will allowed and forcing out foreign owned companies such as Spar, Pick and Pay and Meikles Stores. This is pure madness as most Zimbabwean entrepreneurs lack adequate capital to run large departmental stores and will thus lead to shortages and fixing of prices much to the detriment of the consumers.

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.

Issued by;
Jacob Mafume
PDP National Spokesperson
‘Another Zimbabwe is Possible’

Post published in: Business

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