THE MDC-T unveiled Thursday an economic plan it said would create one million jobs and reverse laws compelling foreign businesses to sell or surrender 51 percent ownership to Zimbabweans.
The program, known as The Jobs, Upliftment, Investment, Capital and Environment Plan, or JUICE, aims to create a million new jobs from 2013 to 2018, expand the economy by 8 percent a year over the period and increase power generation to 6,000 megawatts, according to the policy document.
Zimbabwe has forced miners such as Zimplats and cigarette makers including British American Tobacco (BAT) to draw up plans that will hand cede control within five years.
“The problem that indigenisation poses is that it kills investor confidence,” the party’s deputy secretary general and Economic Planning Minister Tapiwa Mashakada told reporters at the launch of the programme in Harare.
“Capital is timid, so once you say you are going to take 51 percent, why not go to Mozambique, Angola or DRC,” he said, referring to Democratic Republic of Congo.
But Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said the project was unworkable because “indigenization is a reality and it is not reversible.”
Still, Prime Minister and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said the plan would “lift Zimbabwe from failed-state status” and establish a $100 billion “first-world economy” by 2040.
“The crisis we face for ourselves and our children is opportunities for jobs. Our plan is to transform Zimbabwe into a newly industrialized nation within a generation,” he said.
Tsvangirai blamed Zanu PF for Zimbabwe’s economic problems as the country’s struggles to shake off the effects of a decade-long recession adding the indigenisation programme was vindictive and targeted companies which did not support President Robert Mugabe and his party.
“Who will come to invest his money knowing very well that he has to forfeit a big chunk of it? We want to create a conducive business environment which will attract our genuine indigenous business people like Strive Masiyiwa back into the country,” he said.
The MDC-T leader joined Mugabe in a coalition government after violent but both leaders agree to arrangement is no longer workable due to bitter policy and other differences.
Fresh polls are expected next year but the MDC-T is pressing the full implementation of political reforms senior insist will ensure the outcome is not disputed.