WHEN people start to oppose just because they can, countries suffer, dark forces set in and development withers. As Tony Blair has observed in his memoir, “politics is a conspiracy against rational decision-making”. It’s a statement whose value lies not in the fame of the observer, but the frankness of the observation.
Over the years and much to our own detriment, we have permitted our politics to take centre-stage even on matters demanding that we look beyond ideological discrepancies. And nowhere else has that culture been more pronounced than on the indigenisation drive. It’s a pity.
For a long time, the MDC and its sympathisers have looked not at the underlying principle of indigenisation, or its merits or the admirable calibre of those tasked with seeing it to fruition. Alas, precious time has been wasted on discrediting a noble exercise and discouraging complianc e with a just law.
They continue to tout it as a disincentive to foreign investment with the potential to plunge the nation into a dungeon from which it may never emerge. At first sight, it’s a huge show of concern. In hindsight, it’s a colossal ruse.
Ordinarily, it’s a sort of criticism that would be legitimate and welcome. Yet, by the look of things, it has all just been self-serving gibberish designed as a plot against Zanu PF, its officials and, guess what else, the development of this country.
It’s unfortunate yet not altogether surprising. Not much else can be expected from a group whose very survival hinges exclusively on cranking half-truths and doing anything for a buck. It’s their job and their way of life.
Luckily, Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, a man of integrity with the country’s best interests embedded in his heart, has not been swayed. It is no small thing to spearhead anything let alone the indigenisation of an entire nation in the face of relentless falsehoods, scepticism and condemnation. In that regard, he is not just Zimbabwe’s proudest possession; he is its priciest asset too.
Thanks in part to his determination, a sizeable number of countries including India, China and Russia are fighting each other off in a bid to get attention from Harare. And we are supposed to be a risky business destination? Are you kidding me? The nerve of these people!
Hardly a few weeks ago, out-going German Ambassador to Zimbabwe Albrecht Conze observed that, “Zimbabwe has plenty of mineral resources and is a good investment destination to any country in the world”.
It’s a serious indictment on those entrusted with the iniquitous but doomed responsibility of portraying Zimbabwe as a hazardous country for investment. At times shame ought to accompany partisanship. Sometimes it’s necessary.
Of course, so much has been done in a bid to speak with one voice. Although he still harbours some reservations, even Eric Bloch now strongly believes indigenisation to be a necessary initiative. It’s better than nothing.
Morgan Tsvangirai, a man notorious for playing politics with everything bearing a Zanu PF tag, hailed the indigenisation exercise in Cape Town a few months ago. He did the same in Gweru just a few weeks back. Indeed, Minister Kasukuwere was to joke with him there about the fact that his endorsement of a Zanu PF policy had shown him to be a Zanu PF supporter in MDC regalia – a joke Tsvangirai found most amusing.
Just that a lot more still needs to be done. All the more reason for Shepherd Mushonga (a delusional and ignorant MDC fellow who is current chair of the parliamentary committee on legal affairs not because of any conviction or merit of his own, but because of his ability to sniff the wind) to embrace the unstoppable indigenisation drive.
Mushonga had 30 days, in terms of the rules of parliament, within which to register his fears with the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act (IEEA). He didn’t do so. Accordingly, he has only himself to blame. And that’s the end of the matter.
He cannot now, more than a year later, seek to retract from the statute books a law that is as clear and as crucial as the IEEA. Perhaps he thinks he could live up to his surname by poisoning the growth of this nation. If that is so, then he is frighteningly mistaken.
Suffice it to say this country has survived more lethal poisons before to worry itself about a lightweight with no sense of direction, no morality, no integrity and absolutely no authority.
It takes a great deal of wickedness to seek to block the improvement of lives and the growth of a country in order merely to attain the satisfaction of a faction. To be capable of such malevolence, one has to be consumed by evil and motivated by greed. And not just evil as we know it, but a scary species of evil!
Yet it’s not too late for Mushonga to follow the right path. It’s not too late for the people of this nation to work together in unison for its shared benefit. The real fruits of the indigenisation exercise may not have become apparent as yet but, behold, they will be grasped in the fullness of time. Is patience no longer a virtue?
That close to 200 mining firms, including Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Mwana Africa and Freda Rebecca have since submitted their proposals as required by the country’s indigenisation and empowerment law — although most of the proposals fall far short of our expectations and will soon be sent back to the relevant people for further review — proves that it can be done.
It confirms, too, that Minister Kasukuwere is the right man, in the right place, at the right time. Accordingly, it wouldn’t be remiss if we rendered him the right support as one people, one nation.