This Madness Must Stop

Chiyangwa is said to have indicated that he wanted to be given the enterprise as part of Mugabe’s indigenisation exercise to transfer wealth from the whites to the blacks.
When a tender was put for interested bidders on Zisco, Chiyangwa did not bother to apply. He just wants Zisco to be his ahead of all other Zimbabweans.

This is but one of the reasons why the controversial Indigenisation Act has already been condemned locally and internationally with serious investors withdrawing or threatening to do so if the country goes ahead with the full implementation of the process.

Zimbabwe’s economy went on its knees in the past decade due to rogues who wanted to acquire wealth for their own personal gains and egos. The very fact that US$ 300 000 was raised for Mnet’s Big Brother Africa second place winner, Munyaradzi Chidzonga over night showed there was money in Zimbabwe albeit in the hands of few men. The question is why is this money not going into the productive sector?

The national treasury is currently operating in the red and it is failing to increase the current pathetic salaries for teachers and other civil servants who earn an average US$ 150 a month. Industry is operating at a low capacity and most companies are either scaling down or closing shop. Cairns Foods recently said it had put its workforce on half pay and reduced working hours in the face of competition from cheap imported low quality goods.

The World Bank has pointed out that most economic growth in the majority of countries in the world is because of the contribution of women’s micro business projects. Yet when it comes to important processes such as Indigenisation of the economy, the women and other disadvantaged groups are not consulted. These groups usually get the crumbs. They benefit mostly from the special business loans set aside by sympathetic organisations. Sometimes some of this money meant for disadvantaged groups including women is channelled through the government system and it ends up benefitting only those who have the correct political connections.

‘What chance do these economic disadvantaged groups have when people like Chiyangwa want to muscle out everyone and get things on a silver platter?What chance do these economic disadvantaged groups have when people like Chiyangwa want to muscle out everyone and get things on a silver platter? How much of the profits will Chiyangwa plough back to benefit the economy meaningfully? If he and a few others managed to raise that much money for Chidzonga just like that, it means there is stacks of money lying idle somewhere while the majority of the people have no employment and survive on less than 1US$ a day.

The Act should aim at empowering everyone including the disadvantaged groups and not reserved for the few elite. After all Chiyangwa is already rich. He owns vast tracts of land in Harare and other cities although allegations that he acquired the land fraudulently still have to be challenged in court.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti, early this year described the Indigenisation Act as another means to ‘legalise theft by the state’. He said it was empowerment of the very same looters who brought the country’s economy to its knees. It is against this background that someone should stop this madness.