PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday equated his government’s 10-Point Plan aimed at turning around the fortunes of a floundering economy to the Biblical 10 Commandments.
Source: Mugabe equates 10-Point Plan to 10 Commandments – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 17, 2017
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
The 93-year-old Zanu PF leader was officially opening the $82 million Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) manufacturing plant in Harare’s Masasa industrial area.
“The 10-Point Plan is equal to the 10 Commandments perhaps,” Mugabe told shocked guests, adding the new plant would create an additional 87 jobs to bring PPC’s total employees complement to 400. Mugabe campaigned on a promise to create 2,2 million jobs in 2013.
Mugabe announced the 10-Point Plan to Parliament in September 2015 before reading the same speech during the official opening of the august House in an unforgettable year that saw him fall at Harare International Airport.
Fighting old age and failing health, Mugabe stammered yesterday, but stuck to his prepared speech which took him 13 minutes to read. The veteran ruler, who has already been endorsed as the ruling party’s candidate for presidential elections expected in the second half of next year at age 94, uncharacteristically had difficulties in pronouncing words in his speech.
“I feel greatly honoured to have been invited to commission the PPC Zimbabwe world-class cement milling plant. At the onset (sic), I wish to commend and congratulate PPC Zimbabwe for investing in this eighty-five US million state-of-the-art dollars (sic), US$85 million state-of-the-art cement-making plant,” Mugabe stammered.
Mugabe left guests gasping in astonishment after he again tripped while talking about the controversial indigenisation and economic empowerment regulations.
“Government notes with satisfaction that in 2012 PPC Zimbabwe complied with the $1 percent indigenous shareholding requirements of the indigenisation and economic empowerment, should be 51, I think, legislation making it one of the first major manufacturing companies to be compliant. That is the 51 – 49% requirement,” he said.
In a most unlikely move, Mugabe was chauffeur-driven in his official Mercedes Benz limousine for the plant tour, while his hosts, security personnel, ministers and other delegates walked beside his motorcade saving him the strain of the less than 1km tour of the plant.
PPC also had to mount a ramp for the President to climb to the high table as opposed to the normal staircase which he has used in the past.
Mugabe claimed the capital injection by PPC showed his empowerment laws were not an impediment to investment as claimed by his detractors.
“By so doing, PPC Zimbabwe has demonstrated what many other companies are still struggling to put in place. It has demonstrated also that the indigenisation and empowerment philosophy is no hindrance to foreign investment, but instead the policy guarantees the security of such investment,” he said.