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Zanu PF indigenizing poverty in Zimbabwe

By Alexander Rusero

It is now very clear that the current attempts to indigenise all sectors of the economy by the Zanu PF-led Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment is not a genuine drive that seeks to empower local people but one of those draconian policies embarked by Zanu PF to lure the electorate ahead of elections.

Thug in a Suit: Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere
Thug in a Suit: Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere

In the process Zimbabwe is going to be plunged into poverty because a party that is so desperate can do whatever it takes to consolidate power. Any rational person cannot condemn government’s efforts to empower its people especially in a nation still dogged by the hangover of an oppressive colonial regime.

However, responsible citizens cannot ululate whilst witnessing plundering of national heritage. Zanu PF should intellectually empower its members with some basics of sustainable development because its current tune on indigenisation is certainly unmitigated disaster.

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The current indigenisation policy by Zanu PF has proved to be the only packaged manifesto that Zanu PF is prepared to offer  before going for an election but unfortunately the agenda has since become tired and lost much of its gloss at a time the nation is not yet in the mood for an election.

Already, heat is being felt on this empowerment trail.

Zanu PF’s controversial indigenisation rhetoric has come as some form of xenophobic attacks to investment, given that the noble but wrongly-timed policy has been placed at the disposal of real enemies of empowerment who stalwartly refuse to learn from another Zanu PF policy boob on land reform.

What was supposed to be a genuine land reform became a platform for plunder, looting and violence to the extent that almost 12 years after the so called land reform majority of Zimbabweans are still paupers in their homeland.

Up to this moment farmers still rely on our troubled and bleeding treasury for funding but economics teaches us that no country will sustain economic growth on government subsidies.

In June 2011, outgoing German Ambassador to Zimbabwe Albert Conze said the indigenisation law would not succeed because it is ideologically based and politically motivated rather than a practical attempt to empower locals.

The policy has been marred by venom and hate to the extent that the noble plot of indigenisation has been lost. Just like the failed land reform, indigenisation is yet another chance to Zanu PF for revenging against erstwhile colonisers.

Zanu PF is highly obsessed by the past.

It is not only Zimbabwe that was once colonised or that fought a protracted liberation struggle. Past injustices of the colonial era cannot be used to justify injustices of today; otherwise history will judge us from doing the same sins once inflicted on us by other evil people.

We will not be different from them. An eye for an eye will definitely make the rest of Zimbabwe blind. Proposed indigenisation and empowerment is not the panacea to Zimbabwe’s perennial problems.

The country cannot indigenise before it industrialises.

Zimbabwe is underdeveloped and for that simple reason cannot have a meaningful indigenisation programme serve for what we are already seeing where our once beautiful sunshine city is fast converted into a tuck-shop.

People need skills first and the rich education sector of the country in form of polytechnics and universities can be engaged for the vigorous skills-integration programme. People need employment not necessarily who is their employer. No country can live without external investment.

People cannot be empowered if they are incapacitated and underfunded, otherwise the current policy of empowerment will fail and simply sanitise illegal wealth transfer from foreigners to a few connected to the ruling elite.

Whither indigenisation?