INDIGENISATION minister Patrick Zhuwao must resign after admitting that he failed to interpret the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, thereby fuelling chaos in the economy, opposition parties have said.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said the cost of Zhuwao’s bungling was enormous and even made worse by allegations from his former bosom buddy Acie Lumumba, who accused him of corruption.
“If Zimbabwe was a normal and functional democracy, Zhuwao should have proceeded to do the honourable thing and tender his resignation as a Cabinet minister. He is unfit to hold public office,” he said.
“The cost of Zhuwao’s bungling is indescribable in terms of lost business opportunities for Zimbabwe from both domestic and foreign direct investment. He should be completely ashamed of himself.”
People’s Democratic Party spokesperson, Jacob Mafume said “incompetence and corruption is the bloodline of Zanu PF ministers.”
“He is an unmitigated disgrace. the man has been an unmitigated disaster to Zimbabwe’s economy through his rent-seeking behaviour and public attempts to extort business,” he said.
“He performed an insurgent campaign to effectively be a de facto prime minister or an extension of his uncle in government.”
Mafume said Zhuwao’s blunders cost the country in stalled projects and flight from the Zimbabwe stock exchange by foreign and local investors as he caused uncertainty, mainly in the financial services sector.
“Projects stalled and there was a whirlwind on the stock exchange owing to the uncertainty in government policy, as the young minister unleashed himself on the unsuspecting public,” he said.
“The statement ‘bull in a china shop’ does not even begin to describe the carnage left by the minister.”
Maggie Mzumara, a former journalist, said Zhuwao’s threats to investors had cost a failing economy much-needed capital.
“If Zhuwao has found himself in what he claims is a misinterpretation, then we can only hope he interprets better next time. That said, Zimbabwe is at a point where the country cannot afford mistakes and misinterpretations, large or small,” Mzumara said.
“There is absolutely no room for that. misinterpretations and mistakes cost us capital we don’t have, capital the country is desperate for.
“We need to see better economic leadership. We need to see more diligence from our ministers if indeed they appreciate the extent of the dire straits the country is in.”
Zhuwao on Friday conceded that he was firing in the wrong direction on the controversial indigenisation policy following the recent clarification by President Robert Mugabe.
A war of words had erupted between Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and Zhuwao, who were both sending different signals concerning the implementation of the Indigenisation Act, particularly in the banking sector.
Before Mugabe stepped in, the two ministers would flight media adverts to put through their divergent views, with Chinamasa being protective of the banking sector, while Zhuwao was always on the offensive. Zhuwao at one point issued a decree ordering compliance by foreign-owned companies saying they risked losing their operating licences.
However, Mugabe literally called on Zhuwao to keep his distance and focus merely on coordinating the implementation of the legislation by line ministers.
Mugabe admitted the policy has poisoned the country’s business environment and the war between his two ministers was worsening the economic situation in Zimbabwe.
He said the banking sector would continue to be under the auspices of the Banking Act, which is regulated by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, effectively quashing what his nephew, Zhuwao, was trying to do.