via ‘Indigenisation got Saviour $5m mansion’ – NewZimbabwe 05/01/2016
THE opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has it out at the government’s indigenisation policy, saying despite the new framework announced this week, the programme was elitist and designed to benefit the already rich.
“Zanu PF’s indigenisation and empowerment model is elitist and promotes arbitrage.
“That is why the former minister of Indigenization, has built a house worth over $5 million in Helensvale, Harare whose sources of funding are unclear,” said PDP spokesman Jacob Mafume Tuesday.
He added: “In a country where 75% of the people are surviving of less than 0.35 cents a day, it is wrong to expect that these people can purchase the shares in private foreign hands.”
Government introduced the policy supposedly to give previously disadvantaged black Zimbabweans majority ownership of the country’s economy.
The policy compels foreign companies to localise ownership of at least 51 percent of their Zimbabwe operations.
Mafume said the policy was wrong-headed.
“Whilst it is the duty of every government to ensure that its citizens are empowered, we have always maintained that the Indigenization and Empowerment Act is not the correct model of doing so,” he said.
“In short, it is a destructive model. It is wrong to expect a company to part with 51% of its shares without equity being paid for.
“It is wrong to construct an indigenisation and empowerment model based on acquisition of already created wealth. A correct empowerment model creates equal opportunities and incentives for the majority in order to create wealth.
“It is wrong to appropriate controlling interest for any shareholder who worked hard to build an asset. It is stupid to expect anyone to transact huge amounts of money when he does not have a controlling share.”
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and empowerment minister Patrick Zhuwao have, in recent months, been at war over the police; the former keen to water it down in a bid to attract foreign direct investment.
The two ministers called a press conference earlier this week to announce that they had reached common ground over the policy.
But Mafume said the framework announced by the ministers who not help revive the country’s struggling economy.
“The new indigenization and empowerment framework is neither new nor clearer,” he said.
“The framework seeks to impose an empowerment levy on all companies at a time when the majority of companies are closing down due to high operational costs.
“To add an additional tax on them is unsustainable. The truth of the matter is these companies will choose to shutdown than pay this heinous levy.
“Extending the compliance deadline to March 2016, offers no relief to anyone. The challenge is not with the time limit but with the Zanu PF indigenization infrastructure.”
PDP says the indigenization law needs to be “repealed and not clarified”.
“Those that are seeking its clarification including the international institutions like the World Bank and IMF are pandering to Zanu PF.
“It is simply not possible to clarify wrong policies. Wrong policies must be jettisoned.
“The bottom line is that Zanu PF cannot be trusted to run this economy. They do not have the desire or care to run a modern economy.
“The duty and obligation of any right thinking Zimbabwean is to get rid of this monster called Zanu PF.”