AFTER years of reprehensible neglect, Zanu PF is finally restoring Zimbabwe back to its dignified ways. And it may still be guilty of a few things including widespread corruption and limitless greed but its present attempt through the indigenisation drive to build a better life for all deserves our many thanks.
By demanding that 10% of government’s 51% stake in every foreign mining company be reserved for the exclusive benefit of particular communities, Zanu PF has demonstrated not just a pro-poor stance but a commitment to making sure the country’s wealth is broadly shared. It’s a huge gesture that is not to be trifled with.
Hitherto, developed countries came merely to explore, exploit and export our resources without showing any ounce of appreciation- a scandalous state of affairs that did nothing to improve the economic prospects of our country or the welfare of our people.
To avert a problem- or rather more graphically an economic calamity- Zanu PF has come up with a plan which may not instantly change the economic prospects of this country but one that offers a fresh beginning and a vital precondition for the improvement of lives and the ultimate reduction of poverty.
The plan itself has been met with considerable hostility in some circles- a fact that should come as no surprise because, for quite sometime now, some of our people have chosen deliberately to concentrate on matters of overwhelming triviality thereby obscuring the central point. It’s a misfortune we have to live with.
All the more reason to praise Zanu PF and especially Saviour Kasukuwere for forging ahead with the implementation of the drive anyway. It shows that this country still has some good people. But more than that, it underscores Zanu PF’s sincere belief in the justness of the initiative.
The fact that Zimbabwe has substantial wealth but only 1% of its population (which population is composed mainly of foreign investors) has 99% of the cash is outrageous. Can anyone look at the status quo without feeling a sense of disgust and anguish? I don’t know about you, but I think it’s an aberration that needs urgent addressing.
To travel much of last week around the country with Saviour Kasukuwere was to see the extent of government’s (or is it Zanu PF’s) devotion towards enhancing the chances of our people at grassroots level – a step that is critical in moving toward the attainment of sustainable development and poverty alleviation.
From Mutare to Inyanga, Mhondoro-Ngezi to Zvishavane, it’s clear that Zanu PF is moving from idealism to pragmatism, from rhetoric to real, visible and tangible deliverables. Surely it deserves credit for that. DTZ-OZGEO, a Russian firm that mines gold in Penhalonga says while it exists in part for its own sake, it also exists for sake of this country and its people. Could anything ever be more encouraging?
Zimplats has made an undertaking to disburse the 10% required by government in the Mhondoro-Ngezi area because, like DTZ-OZGEO, Unki, Mimosa and several other foreign firms here, they believe indigenisation is a just act of economic emancipation that requires their unstinting endorsement. It’s been an arduous road for those tasked with seeing the indigenisation drive to fruition but so far so great.
Certainly, the Community Share Ownership Trusts will be a big help to our struggling rural folks. By building roads, schools, clinics and venturing in various entrepreneurial schemes – it means jobs will be created, lives will be restored.
And there is one unintended but very welcome consequence of all this: idleness will no longer haunt our youth. This means less thuggish behaviour, less violence and more peace- precisely the sort of thing Zimbabwe is looking for.
Nor is there need to worry about how the Trusts will be managed. A lot of thoughtful planning has gone into it. Although our chiefs as the custodians of the resources will be tasked with overseeing the administration of the Trusts, they will be under constant, careful and capable guidance from Rural District Councils- which councils will be composed of qualified and professional lawyers, accountants, engineers, social workers, doctors and so on and so forth.
And so it’s inaccurate to say that Kasukuwere has not properly applied his mind to this. He has. He is well alive to the fact that the indigenisation exercise must be seen to be benefiting not the fat cats but the hungry masses. In that regard, he has done everything that could reasonably be expected of anyone in his position.
To be the one to hand over economic freedom to our people after many years of suffering is, I know, very special for him.
The only thing that now remains is for government to be of one mind and one idea. So far it lacks the common intent needed to tackle a policy as far-reaching in implication as the current one. To that end, the clashes of the recent past even between Zanu PF ministers do nothing to advance the ideals of the indigenisation policy.
As for the MDC-T’s role in all this, well the issue is pretty straightforward. Tsvangirai and his party are nothing more than mere fronts used by vested interests posing as democrats. Today, our people are starring at a future in which their prospects have become less and less defined. The outlook for many of them is bleak. Yet Morgan Tsvangirai acts as if this is somehow normal or acceptable? Is he on drugs?
He has made not one but a series of grave missteps which have now adulterated his reputation in a way that may well be permanent and irrevocable. Until he instigated the imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe and showed a fondness for destroying rather than building, it was easy to argue that Morgan was an electable politician with a set of decent values.
Sadly, it’s impossible to make that conclusion any longer. Indeed it’s reasonable to argue that his departure (along with that of his bogus party) from the political scene in disgrace and shame is now only a matter of time.
Right now he is denigrating and denouncing a noble cause for no other reason except that he can, often calling it self-serving. That may be his opinion and, God bless Zimbabwe, he is entitled to it- it’s a free country. But what he has failed to do is provide an alternative form of empowerment, one which recognizes the plight of our people and assists in alleviating it.
If Tsvangirai thinks that just by condemning other people’s ideas, the empowerment of our people will happen of its own accord then he must have smoked a new kind of weed!
Let him and his MDC-T give us a full account of what their plan is. For its part, Zanu PF has demonstrated a clear grasp of the people’s predicament and is doing more than just talk about it. It has risen to the occasion and for that, I believe, it deserves commendation not condemnation.