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Cross about indigenisation and empowerment
15/05/2012 00:00:00
by Kurai Masenyama and Psychology Maziwisa
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ABOUT two decades ago, Peter Godwin authored a book titled Rhodesians Never Die in which he discusses the issue of hardcore settlers whose attitudes will never change and will always wish for the return of the racist Rhodesian regime.

Although a retrogressive book, it has nevertheless proven to be prophetic as remnants of that Rhodesian class are beginning to exert their influence since the great deception of September 11, 1999, that birthed the Movement for Democratic Change.

Two of the leading forces of this negative brigade championing the Rhodesian agenda come in the form of Erich Bloch and Eddie Cross, both former Rhodesian stalwarts who are now the darlings and think tanks of the MDC-T.

Recently, the pair has been at the forefront of denigrating the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme meant to benefit the ordinary citizens of Zimbabwe.

In this regard, they have misled, lied and even manipulated the truth especially on the motivations of the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme. We are not just talking about isolated cases of falsehoods here; we are talking about an almost consistent wholesale deception.

Last week, in an article that depicted his quintessential approach of championing the interests of the few over the needs of the many, Bloch told a series of lies that cast a big shadow over his sense of honesty and credibility as an independent commentator writing for an independent newspaper.

Admitting he had acted improperly and unprofessionally by misquoting Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s reference to Adolf Hitler a few weeks ago, he tried to redeem himself in an article titled ‘Kasukuwere may not be a Hitler after all’.

However, in that same article, Bloch childishly claims that, “although the objectives and intentions of Hitler and Kasukuwere had markedly different motivations, tragically the consequences of their policies and actions are alike”. 

This sorry comparison should be a matter of deep personal shame. Not only is it reckless, it is palpably untrue. To start with, Hitler’s policies were principally political rather than economic. “History teaches us,” said Hitler, “that no nation has ever become prosperous through its economy”.

Whereas the German dictator preoccupied himself with political policies of territorial conquest, believing the only way this could be attained was through war, Minister Kasukuwere is an economic reformer who is championing, by lawful means, a policy intended to improve the welfare of this country. Anyone who considers this to be identical either doesn’t know what he is talking about or is exceptionally stupid.


Moreover, Bloch attempted to equate Minister Kasukuwere to Hitler, claiming “vast numbers of people are suffering immensely while many die prematurely” (apparently from the negative effects of the indigenisation programme).

There is not even a single shred of evidence to support this allegation. In fact, there is ample proof that the indigenisation and empowerment policy has liberated hundreds of thousands of our men and women from the economic apartheid engineered by the Smith regime.

But it would be a little unfair to lay all the blame on Bloch alone. The treachery is more widespread. MDC-T secretary for research and policy coordinating Eddie Cross was quoted in South African media intimating that the empowerment policy was illegal and doomed to fail. He also falsely claimed that no company had complied with the policy, adding that the MDC-T would reverse all indigenisation deals if ever it comes to power.

This misrepresentation of facts was obviously meant to downplay the impact of the indigenisation programme and put Zanu PF in bad light while attempting to cast the MDC-T as the real champions of the people. Yet it’s a denigration attempt that fails on first contact with the evidence. Let’s consider the facts.

As it stands, communities in Zvimba, Chegutu, Mhondoro-Ngezi, Zvishavane and Shurugwi have already received 10% shareholding plus $10 million dollars each from mining companies operating in their areas. Meanwhile workers at Schweppes, Meikles and Old Mutual have also received shares while thousands of youths have benefited from empowerment funds administered by the CBZ, IDBZ, CABS and lately Stanbic.

It’s easy to see what’s going on here. Bloch and Cross are being expressly encouraged to do whatever it takes to trash the empowerment policy in a desperate attempt to cover up for MDC-T’s lack of ideas. Yet Messrs Bloch and Cross need to be forewarned that their smear tactics can never mask MDC-T’s hopeless failure to come up with a policy that helps advance the interests of our people.

Of course, Cross’ threat that the MDC-T would reverse the empowerment of ordinary citizens and communities was telling as it followed on the MDC-T national executive’s anti-indigenisation statement issued recently and, related to that, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s unsuccessful efforts to declare the programme illegal.

But here is the thing; Eddie will be very cross because his antics will not succeed particularly in view of the unstoppable nature of the drive and the determination of those tasked to see it to fruition.

In any case, the success or failure of the indigenisation and economic empowerment drive is not dependent on the opinions of wretched people like Bloch and Cross. Rather, it is dependent on what our many previously disadvantaged communities out there think; what our working brothers and sisters have to say about the employee share ownership schemes.

Indeed, real judgment on the efficacy of the policy should be reserved for future generations on whose behalf the programme is also being spearheaded.

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