Indigenisation now a mess

By | May 23, 2014

via Indigenisation now a mess – The Zimbabwe Independent May 23, 2014

GOVERNMENT’s controversial indigenisation programme has now degenerated from being unworkable to the depths of confusion bordering on a circus as authorities, from President Robert Mugabe to the lowest officials, contradict and even clash with each other publicly.

While at the beginning it was characterised by criticisms that it was impractical in its current form, the programme is now a mess as Mugabe and his officials continue to make remarks which not only fail to clarify it but fuel the chaos, uncertainty and scare away investors.

It must be said upfront, empowering locals and bringing them into the mainstream economy is a good thing.

However, a good thing done in a bad way does not serve a useful purpose. Policy must be structured and informed by reality on the ground, not emotional outbursts and daydreaming.

Despite having been part of the national discourse since 2007 when Zanu PF first formally mulled the process, and more actively since 2010, the programme is fast deteriorating into a farce as its architects now publicly fight over its framework, thrust and implementation matrix.

Major indigenisation deals involved Portland Holdings, Unki Mine, Mimosa Mining Company and Zimplats, mostly brokered by Brainworks Capital Management, amid allegations of cronyism, bribery and corruption.

Even if its promoters say this is a genuine programme of empowerment premised on resource nationalism to lift up previously underprivileged Zimbabweans from the depths of poverty by leveraging the abundance of the country’s mineral wealth, the reality is that the policy is more like racketeering by regulation.

It has created havoc across the economy, while fuelling uncertainty and damaging the country’s image as a safe investment destination.

The promulgation of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, as read with the relevant general regulations, statutory instrument and supplemented by required notices, requires foreign-owned companies to dispose of 51% of their shares to locals at fair market value.

However, Mugabe and his officials have been ambiguous on implementation and in the process created a farcical situation. Take for instance what Indigenisation deputy minister Mathias Tongofa told parliament on Wednesday when he said government has no intention of revisiting the policy to make it more investor-friendly and progressive.

This was in sharp contrast to what Mugabe said on Independence Day when he indicated 51% should only apply where foreign companies have been established, mainly on the basis of natural resources, mostly in mining and agriculture.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa recently said there will be no one-size-fits-all approach to indigenisation.

So the question is what is going on here? Of course the law is clear but its interpretation and implementation is not. Instead, there is a lot of confusion about the issue.

What is now needed to go forward is that government must go back to the drawing board to clear this mess by revising or repealing the law and come up with a well-thought-out policy which will help attract investors, stabilise the markets and ensure economic recovery as well as growth.

27 thoughts on “Indigenisation now a mess

  1. Charles Chamunorwa

    Indigenisation is hurting the ordinary men on the street most through unemployment as a result of company closures and lack of investment

  2. John Thomas

    This is like arguing that the land reform exercise was a good thing done in a bad way. The land reform and indigenisation policies were bad and are bad in their very conception. You cannot do good by indulging in criminal theft, you can only promote criminality. The proof of this is all around us. There are no easy short cuts. It is surprising how many seemingly smart people cannot understand simple things

  3. Dube

    Indigenization is a term that is used in a variety of ways depending on the context. The term is primarily used by anthropologists to describe what happens when locals take something from the outside and make it their own (e.g. Africanization, Americanization). [1] Pseudo-indigenization occurs when outsiders try to force the infusion of their culture into another culture.

    In world politics, indigenization is the process in which non-Western cultures redefine their native land for better use in agriculture and mass marketing. Due to imperialism and the impetus to modernize, many countries have invoked Western values of self-determination, liberalism, democracy and independence in the past. But now that they are experiencing their own share of economic prosperity, technological sophistication, military power and political cohesion, they desire to revert to their ancestral cultures and religious beliefs.

    Since the 1980s and the 1990s, there has been a resurgence of Islam and “re-Islamization” in Muslim societies. In India, Western forms and values have been replaced in the process of “Hinduization” of politics and society and in East Asia, Confucian values are being promoted as part of the “Asianization” process. Japan has also had its share of Indigenization in the form of “Nihonjinron” or the theory of Japan and the Japanese.

    However, the word indigenization is also used in almost the opposite sense,indigenize, it means: to increase local participation in or ownership of: to indigenize foreign-owned companies. to adapt (beliefs, customs, etc.) to local ways.


  4. Dube

    Copied and pasted. If White and mixed race people that have been in Zimbabwe for ages are not indigenous then I feel sorry for America if they indigenize Zimbabwe Style. Wake up and smell the coffee. White black and brown (even those of Indian decent are now Indigenous.

  5. Doctor do little

    “This is like arguing that the land reform exercise was a good thing done in a bad way.” You are right John Thomas . The foolish government made FARM INVADERS AND MURDERS LEGAL. Then to justify it they started making laws of what was broken and said this is now the law. They first offered the thief ownership of his booty and said you have no longer stolen. Others started to steal because to steal was now lawful. I don’t know if I am making sense here.

  6. Doctor do little

    “This is like arguing that the land reform exercise was a good thing done in a bad way.” You are right John Thomas .The foolish government made FARM INVADERS AND MURDERS LEGAL. Then to justify it they started making laws of what was broken and said this is now the law. They first offered the thief ownership of his booty and said you have no longer stolen. Others started to steal because to steal was now lawful. I don’t know if I am making sense here.Now they are stuck with thieves and murderers on the land.

  7. supermondo

    anything zanu comes up with is simply to distract the public as they don’t have the brains to create a solid workable package.they are too busy with there corruption.


    Indigenisation is another Ponzi scheme being operated by Zanu PF. Just wait and see.

  9. makotsi

    The indigenization of Zimbabwe’s economy is an economic struggle with those deriving benefits on the defence and those seeking a share on the offensive. It is therefore normal for those who have been enjoying the wealth to cry foul. However it becomes naive for those who are bonfire beneficiaries to join the haves corner in this national struggle.

  10. Daniel

    Indigenisation is just another form of theft especialy if the new partners dont pay up front for what they are getting/stealing.Land theft started this whole downward spiral.

  11. Petal

    do recall reading an article where Disgrace’s Son from her ex husband SCALED a fence (No he did not even use the gate to gain access to the property – he was trying to claim ownership of another mans mine- was shocked at the despicable ways these people at the top including their children behap

  12. Tongoona

    Yes indigenisation is a good thing but not in its rudimentary form. It appears no feasibility study was done prior to implementation. Typical ZANU PF way of handling newly formulated policies. It is always a shot in the dark.

  13. Ininiwo zvangu

    As a Zimbo that had been in the diaspora for 14 years and bearing in mind how Zpf behaves, i see a situation where one day they may look at me ad non-indeginous. If you were me, would you invest in Zim right now, even if my investment is small?

  14. bigdhara

    South Korea had a land reform exercise in the 50s guess how many people were killed / murdered =Zero! gukurahundi loving Zanu pf ists are completely incapable are dealing honestly dishonesty is part of their value system tsvina dirty money is what under lies their operation

  15. Petal

    would like to know if any mixed race owned business in Mashonaland has been targeted before targeting those in Matabeleland.
    could it also be they are looking for those with CAUCASIAN surnames!

  16. Gomogranny

    Could the SAN people please come and claim their 51% of Zimbabwe please….Shona people, you, like everybody else will have 48% and your SAN partner will be your boss….they were here before you and must therefore claim the prize! You ZANU…you are too thick to see how stupid you are and how transparent your thieving ways are.

    1. Petal

      Hear Hear Hear Hear!
      Know some mixed race people in Mashonaland with caucasian surnames that own business like garages. dressmaking etc – w

  17. Njalo

    The 51% to 49% Indigenization arrangement may well be Zimbabwe’s saving considering the absolute and very real failures of the 100% Indigenous ownership, management and operations of the following enterprises:
    National Railways of Zimbabwe
    Cold Storage Commission
    Central Mechanical Equipment Department
    District Development Fund (ALL REGIONS)
    Posts and Telecommunications Corporation
    National Social Security Association
    Zambezi Water Project
    Ailsbey Farm (Bulawayo City Council Cash Cow)
    Jairos Jiri (A noble self help project for people with disabilities)
    It would really surprise me if the Bulawayo City Council is getting it’s rightful revenue from Ingwebu Breweries.

  18. Petal

    One of these mixed race with caucasian surnames in the Capital in Mashonaland his garage services vehicles for diplomats and a child of theirs is a pilot and are well connected to the Culverwell family . late Joseph Culverwell did not do much for mixed race people from other regions
    while other children of mixed race with caucasian surnames in other regions are being denied employment and not given assistance to further their education some of them have ended up as orphans

  19. Moses

    Theres enough of everything for everybody. What you have to do is WORK for it. Nothing is free and investing your own effort is the real road. Sitting back and taking what someone else has created is not just. History is history , get on with it

  20. Petal

    these theiving scum bags including Bob are blatant RACISTS and TRIBALISTS
    one hears him attacking the caucasians who organised his daughters wedding??? a WHITE south african firm
    He and his cronies are Racist, Tribalist , thieves and cold blooded murderers

  21. Straight Shooter

    The confusion is a result of being led by a 90-year old ancestor. Vele lalithembeni lifaka ukhokho esikhundleni esingaka ngonyak ‘ophelile? Lalivele lithembe ukuthi kophetha ngani bo?

  22. Fundani Moto

    I like the way people in this Government come up with these loft ideas that are mostly “stillborn”/ literaly dead on arrival. They should have studied how other countries succeeded with their indigenisation programmes. They should study the Malaysian model of Indigenisation. The Malaysian model required the indigenous people to submit business proposals which were financed by the Government (through banks) as long as those proposals were viable. Expert committees were appointed to assist those indigenous persons whose proposals qualified for loans. There were safeguards also created to ensure that the debtor does not divert the funds or even leave the country once funds for a particular business proposal were disbursed. The expert committee would work with the individual indigenous person until his/her business was off its feet and this committee made sure that funds were used for what they were intended. This kind of Indigenisation encouraged real business entrepreneurs while discouraging a mentality of entitlement. It also created jobs as the new business owners employed more people. The problem with grabbing existing companies is that more often than not those who take over companies have no business acumen and all they do is running companies aground and displacing a lot of longtime employees. Nobody vets their qualifications. This only promotes a culture of impunity – no wonder so many companies have closed down.

  23. Petal

    if one looks at Bobs daughter’s wedding photos there is a lion’s skin rug on the floor-doubt if it is artificial and one asks whether he is also associated to the rampant poaching that is going- or was it a gift from a poacher? on this is why no photos were allowed in their house-this is just evidence they are concealing something


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *