Zimbabwe’s Mugabe plans ‘final phase’ of black ownership plan

via Reuters – Zimbabwe’s Mugabe plans ‘final phase’ of black ownership plan

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe addresses supporters during celebrations to mark the country’s Defence Forces Day in the capital Harare.

By Cris Chinaka

(Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe said on Tuesday he saw his victory in last month’s election as a mandate for “total” application of policies forcing foreign-owned firms to sell majority stakes to local investors.

Addressing a Defence Forces Day rally, Africa’s oldest leader at 89, maintained a belligerent defence of his re-election on July 31, which is being challenged in court as fraudulent by his main political rival, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Rejecting this challenge along with questions by Western governments about the election’s credibility, Mugabe said his new five-year term extending his 33 years in power gave him the chance to enact what he called the last chapter of a fiercely nationalist economic strategy.

His so-called “indigenization” policy seeks to redistribute wealth by forcing foreign-owned firms to sell at least 51 percent to black Zimbabweans.

The local operations of the world’s two largest platinum producers, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum Holdings, have already been targeted by this policy, and foreign-owned banks are also seen as likely targets.

London-based Standard Chartered and Barclays are among the banks in Zimbabwe.

“Now that the people of Zimbabwe have granted us a resounding mandate in the governance of the country, we will do everything in our power to ensure that our objective of total indigenization, empowerment, development and employment is realized,” Mugabe told the rally of both civilians and soldiers.

“This is our final phase of implementing the ideals of the liberation struggle,” he added, without offering more details.

His pledge of more forceful application of a nationalist agenda offered little comfort to foreign investors, who have been hoping Zimbabwe can build on a fragile economic recovery seen under a unity government since 2009 made up of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party and Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change.

The MDC filed a legal challenge on Friday in the Constitutional Court, calling for a re-run of the election on the grounds it was riddled with fraud and irregularities.

Zimbabwe’s constitution says the top court must rule within 14 days. Analysts predict the MDC challenge is unlikely to prosper because they say Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party dominates the judiciary and state institutions.

Tsvangirai and his party boycotted the Defence Forces Day ceremony, just as they had a Heroes Day celebration led by Mugabe on Monday in which he bluntly told critics of his re-election to “go hang”.

MILITARY “PILLAR”

In his speech, Mugabe praised Zimbabwe’s armed forces as a “reliable pillar” of his government, which he said was making efforts to improve military wages and living conditions.

He accused Tsvangirai, who prior to the election was his prime minister in the fractious unity government, of working with former colonial power Britain by calling for reforms of the armed forces.

Tsvangirai had accused the pro-Mugabe security forces of showing bias and intimidation against him and his party, making a fair election impossible.

Mugabe said it was “surprising that some misguided fellow countrymen at the behest of their Western allies blatantly disregard the good work done by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces in maintaining peace and tranquility in the country.”

“They disguise this by demanding what they call security sector reform, when it is obvious the enemy’s real ploy is to dilute the efficiency of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces,” he added.

Pointing to multiple flaws in the July 31 vote cited by domestic observers, Western governments – especially the United States – have questioned the credibility of the election outcome and are considering whether to prolong sanctions against Mugabe.

But Mugabe is drawing comfort from African election observers who endorsed the elections as largely free and orderly and have urged Zimbabweans to move on peacefully. Western observers were barred from observing the vote.

(Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Robin Pomeroy)

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 15
  • comment-avatar
    jongwe power 7 years ago

    Let’s see if the indigenisation programme will make this country finally achieve its breadbasket status and African superpower status. It works in Saidi Arabia and Dubai, so why not here?

    Meanwhile, I’m keeping a nice long list of contact details for forex dealers and people to bribe, in case the Zimdollar re-introductioon flops.

    • comment-avatar
      Tawanda 7 years ago

      Dubai had alignment with western interests in its favor. Also a commitment to investment in infrastructure and business.
      Mugabe and cronies seem too shortsighted to grasp even those things.

      • comment-avatar
        Tawanda 7 years ago

        UAE also has free zones and other such enticements for foreign companies.

  • comment-avatar
    Sad Ex-Zimbo 7 years ago

    Clearly Jongwe is smoking from the same crack-pipe as Mugabe. Indigenisation of the private sector is the final thrust of the knife killing any potential economic recovery for Zimbabwe for the next 20 – 50 years, and there is a simple reason why. Zimbabwean indigenous people are, currently and for the foreseeable future, completely and totally incapable of running a trustworthy and successful economy…. fact.

    They lack the knowledge, education, understanding, experience, compassion, intellect and pretty much every other simple asset required to ‘do business’ with the rest of the world, let alone run a government capable of building trade. More importantly, with the exception of mining, what business is Zimbabwe going to do with the rest of the world? All the other industries are pilfered by thugs and thieves, production is at an all time low. Other than what’s in the ground, they have nothing to sell of any significant volume to drive any improvements for the population. They are starving now, unfortunately, with this plan there will be no respite, starvation is and will remain to be a way of life. Zimbabweans will exist, they will not live.

    The problem is the indigenous Zimbabwean is too stupid to fathom what is going to happen in the next 5 – 10 years and voting Mugabe in has sealed their doom, whether they did or didn’t is irrelevant, they’re too scared to fight for what is right anyway so they get what they deserve.

    As a result of these elections, 99.9% of Zimbabweans will not
    a) become wealthy enough to feed, house and educate themselves or their children
    b) be set free by taking over international companies.
    c) have all of their problems solved by killing the remaining business that actually generate revenue

    99.9% of Zimbabweans will:
    a) become enslaved to the select politically connected few (the remaining 0.1%)
    b) live off one meal a day (if that), be hungry most of the time without the ability to feed themselves or their children.
    c) Die before they are 40, watch their loved ones die from hunger, malnutrition or the complications of Aids.
    d) receive no help from their government
    e) receive no international investment. Why would they? Zimbabwe cannot be trusted…. for good reason……

    The bottom line is: Zimbabwe is dead, it just hasn’t fallen over yet. The best route forward for the people of Zimbabwe is to fight for their god-given rights, rise as a nation and stand up for themselves. Fight to the death for what is right for the nation as a whole, not just the few who control the fear. If they can’t do that, submit to a future of pain and death, learn to speak Chinese, and bow to your new Eastern masters.

    • comment-avatar

      So im guessing you are now extremely wealthy having settled in another country where you are far from us so called stupid indegineous Zimbabweans?…go suck a long one mate

    • comment-avatar
      jongwe power 7 years ago

      Yes I am smoking the mbanje pipe (good quality weed by the way). That’s why I’m compiling my list of forex dealers and people to bribe. Just trying to make my way on a continent where Western concepts like human rights and democracy don’t seem to work that well.

      Now you say that Zimbabweans will fight for their rights. Okay. Candlelight vigils in London and Joburg aren’t helping. Prayer isn’t helping, because apparently God has better things to do than give a rat’s behind about Zimbabwe. Obviously protests will just give the riot police, Zanu youths and CIOs lots of target practice. After all, they have the weapons and very little of the remorse you clearly have to refrain from using them.

      So what’s the way forward, my Diasporan friend? Obviously my point of view doesn’t matter to you because I’m just getting high off the bong while learning some Chinese from our new masters.

  • comment-avatar

    My experience is that indigenous Zimbabweans are hard working, intelligent, helpful, cheerful and productive.
    Sad ex-Zimbo’s comments are racist and he should think twice about insulting us when we are already oppressed by a fascist dictatorship.
    Advocating an uprising is much easier from a safe distance. Living inside bloody civil war is terrifying – ask any Syrian.
    The situation in Zimbabwe is very difficult. There are great uncertainties at this time. We will live one day at a time without losing our essential nature.

  • comment-avatar

    We hope that Mr Mugabe will be less confrontational and less aggressive this time around and concentrate on simple bread and butter issues rather than grandstanding against his ‘enemies’ and detractors.
    Let us hope that he doesn’t introduce wild policies to punish his opponents; policies that will not only hurt his ‘enemies, but also impact negatively on the Zimbabwean economy and the Zimbabwean people.
    We hope that his memory can stretch back to 2007 and 2008, when life in Zimbabwe was so difficult.
    Let us hope that finally at the age of 89, Mr Mugabe will become a bit more pragmatic and thoughtful.

  • comment-avatar
    Sad Ex-Zimbo 7 years ago

    I applaud all of these responses and take your points on board. It is a good time to apologise for any negativity I may have spread to my fellow countrymen and contributors, the further demise of my beloved home land plays hard on my heart and my mind. For the record, yes I am no longer a resident of Zimbabwe, but no wealth has not found me yet. It doesn’t matter what colour I am, whether I am racist or not, what economical background or any other information of that nature. What matters are the people and the future of Zimbabwe, and with Mugabe in charge and with the policies he’s promoting, it spells nothing short of killing the future growth for the immediate, middle and sadly long term.

    I strongly believe, that all those reading this and previous articles on the Zimbabwean elections know, in their heart of hearts, there is little to no chance they were won fairly. And I think we’d all agree, had the most recent and previous elections been completely transparent, fully exposed to any and all who would want to analyse it, played on an even ground towards all the parties, there would be no cause for concern, because the ‘will of the people’ would be clear for everyone to see. But, we know that isn’t the case, we know that in the past and almost certainly in the most recent election there has been underhand, murderous, tactics carried out to ensure Mugabe’s victory. We all know the ‘will of the people’ is not being carried out, but the will of a small group of people who are dishonest, dishonourable, disrespectful and hell bent on personal greed than the overall prosperity of the nation.

    If Zanu-PF had nothing to hide, then why does it hide?
    If it has nothing to fear, then why not allow the other parties to campaign on the same media platform as their own?

    My earlier comments on uprising are based on the simple fact that there is nothing else they can do to win. ZANU will stifle any and all attempts to win on a fair footing, Zimbabweans have to use their strongest weapon in their dwindling arsenal, and that is to stand up on-mass.

    I too do not advocate violence, but I am struggling to find any other route where the will of the people will not be insulted and disrespected as we have seen for some 15 years. Other than ‘waiting for Mugabe to die’ there is no plan, but the perspective that Zimbabweans are easily controllable, or manipulated or easily scared off is already set, you cannot wash that off. So what do we think the next leader is going to do, if his / her perspective of Zimbabweans is the same as what he /she saw under Mugabe’s rule.

    I grew up with stories of the strength, pride and honour of Zimbabweans. I see little of that when the shadow of tyranny and evil casts upon their doorstep, and the very man who liberated a nation stands on their throats, terrorising them, starving them…… killing them.

    • comment-avatar
      Collin Mackenzie 7 years ago

      If are Ex shut up dont get involved your now an X5 so shut up man leave Zimbabwe to Zimbabweans no third force because after all said we shall be eating from the same pot
      Open dialogue is good for us as Zimbabweans as for you X5 sit in the grand stand and watch.

  • comment-avatar

    What I find so sad is that before Independance, the African people’s voice and vote could not be heard in Rhodesia, and now even after Independance, their voice and vote still can’t be heard in Zimbabwe……what a tradgedy?!

  • comment-avatar

    Economies are no longer run along textbook lines. Those who have the will and the power of the people on their side will do what is best for their people. Bob is 100% correct and after him we will follow his footprints.

  • comment-avatar
    grumpy 7 years ago

    I’m surprised that there even is any discussion over the usefulness of so called indigenisation policies. Am I alone in saying that these are BY DEFINITION racist and fascist? It is politics of hatred and envy. Does anybody really believe that the simple Zimbabwean Joe Blogs will in an yway benefit from such actions? OF COURSE NOT. If the general populace were to be lifted out of poverty by such measures, ZANU-PF wouldn’t be able to bribe them with a bowl of Sadza and punish them with its withdrawal. That alone is reason enough for the “government” to keep the spoils amongst the Saviours and Chiangwas of this world. Besides, they are parceling up a shrinking cake. Take a quick look at the stock exchange, which plunged 11% immediately after the recent ZANU-PF “victory”, wiping out many millions of US$, and that’s before any specific actions are even taken against foreign entities. Maybe ZANU-PF see that as an act of racism, but stock exchanges don’t tend to be racist. They simply reflect investor confidence, they are a measure of investors’ trust in an economy’s prospects. But still, ZANU-PF now proposes a “blacks only” stock exchange. WOW! This is economical apartheid, as well as total rubbish.
    Just imagine for a moment that, say, Switzerland were to “indigenise” its economy. Well, they could do that, and join the club of banana republics. It would make a few Swiss wealthier for a little while, but only until the inevitable collapse of the franc. And then, there’s the nagging question of who’s swiss and who isn’t. How about the 10th generation french Hugenot in Geneva? The germanophone swiss born outside the country? Why not split the country in four, for the sake of “total indigenisation and empowerment”? Just like Zimbabwe, Switzerland is home to ethnically diverse people, who have made their individual contributions to the country over the centuries. The difference being, however, that they share the same skin colour. Just like Zimbabwe, Switzerland needs cordial relations with its neighbours in order to succeed. Just like Zimbabwe, Switzerland needs to build and maintain a complex web of business relations worldwide in order to compete. Imagine the president of Switzerland campaigning on a “Switzerland is for the Swiss” ticket. The whole country would crack up laughing.

    Yet, ZANU-PF promised to “realize” so many billions of US$ from “indigenisation”. How can anyone say, let alone listen to, such garbage with a straight face? Of course, they can keep plundering the country’s mineral wealth for some time, but Zimbabwe is no Norway. Instead, it will end up in the resource trap, like so many other unfortunate African countries, with declining living standards for the general population, eroding education and health care and increased security risks. Hundreds have already been killed for the sake of Marange diamonds, lest we forget.

    Institutionalised madness.

  • comment-avatar
    Collin Mackenzie 7 years ago

    What you saying in just unfounded
    Zimbabwe has come of age and rock bottom there’s one way and that’s up
    I believe in Mugabe

  • comment-avatar

    To Collin Mackenzie,

    It’s sad, because you seem to have so much hatred and anger inside you….as I read all your comments everyday, they are filled with abusive talk…. I am going to say this, even if you don’t agree or you think I am crazy!!! The Lord loves you so much…. oh for you to walk in inward peace and freedom, to taste true forgiveness and to walk in humbleness and joy….to release those who have hurt and wronged you….the more you hold onto your anger….it only hurts and destroys you. In God, all of us are one…..it’s time to move forward, forgetting what lies behind us….. loving God with all your heart and loving your neighbours as yourself.