Gono, Mugabe clash on indigenisation act

Gono also believes that the act is a conduit by top Zanu PF officials to invade companies which will lead to a total destruction of industry.

Despite fierce resistance, Mugabe together with top Zanu PF officials has successfully pushed through the indigenization act, which gives 51 percent shareholding of all companies to Zimbabweans.

The act has already created a storm within the inclusive government with Zanu PF opposing it while the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is opposing the largely discredited law.

Although Gono has been uncharacteristically quiet since late last year, informed sources at the RBZ said he has been trying over the past few years to discourage the government from proceeding with the controversial law.

Gono is said to maintain that the law is being created by greedy Zanu PF officials who want to grab companies for free the same they invaded and destroyed farms.

In his monetary policy statement of October 2007, Gono attacked the proponents of the indigenization law and even went on to say that it was being crafted by drunken people.

“Noble as this objective (indigenization) is, however, our well considered advice to legislators and government in general is that a fine balance should be struck between the objectives of indigenization and the need to attract foreign investment.

“Specifically, the local-foreign ownership thresholds must be taken and implemented as down the horizon targets, as opposed to excitable but impractical overnight conversion events

“As monetary authorities, we call upon government to ensure that the empowerment drive is not derailed by a few well connected cliques, some who are already making the most noise in ostensible support of this initiative, who would want to amass wealth to themselves in a starkly greedy but irresponsible manner, whilst the intended majority remain with nothing as happened in the past with respect to government empowerment schemes such as the land reform programme,” said Gono is his 2007 statement.

Gono said his attack on the act was because he had already received reports that senior and well connected personalities had already positioned themselves to muscle into certain mining, manufacturing, financial and other entities.

He added that nearly three decades after independence the political heavyweights should forget about getting business for free.

Although Gono could not be reached for comment in Harare Friday as he was said to be out of the country, a top RBZ official said the central bank still maintains the same position but was being ignored by Mugabe and his Zanu PF loyalists.

“The governor maintains the same position. He has been trying to plead with government to sober up on the indigenization law but has been rebuffed. Had the government been listening to the RBZ as top economic advisors so many things could have been avoided.

“As RBZ we advised against further farm invasions and were ignored and we advised against arbitrary prize controls and were snubbed. We are supposed to be government advisors on economic issues but they listen to greedy and selfish politicians and Zanu PF aligned businessmen who are looting the country dry,” said the top RBZ official.

Besides Gono and Tsvangirai, the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act is being vehemently opposed by the business sector including the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) and Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC).

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the Zimbabwe Students Union (Zinanu) have also attacked the act.