Home » Governance » Indigenisation Policy Review – Putting Matters Into Perspective

Following widespread queries, questions and concerns received by the ZANU-PF Department of Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment from party members, supporters, ordinary citizens, Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, prospective and current investors following the publication of an article titled “Government in Major Climbdown” by The Sunday Mail (May 25-31, 2014) we feel compelled to present this submission putting a number of matters into perspective.

Background to indigenisation and economic empowerment

The indigenisation and economic empowerment policy is firmly in line with the Zanu-PF ideology of people empowerment. The policy is following the sequence of political independence, mass education, land reform and resettlement. The policy is deeply entrenched in Zanu-PF thinking as evidenced by its adoption as the theme for the 2010, 1011, 2012 and 2013 Annual People’s Conferences.

Thus, it is beyond doubt that the policy has been the party’s foremost programme and main message going into the 2014, July 31 harmonised elections.

Sectoral Approach to Indigenisation

The indigenisation and economic empowerment programme has always been implemented differently across sectors quite contrary to the so-called one-size-fits-all approach as alleged by a number of individuals and media organisations. Statutory Instrument 21 of 2010 directed the set up of Sectoral Committees under the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) to aise Government on the implementation of indigenisation in their respective sectors.

The committees were chaired by board members and comprised experts in the respective. The recommendations from the various sector committees were adopted and are in the process of being implemented by the responsible ministry. The only recommendations not adopted were by the mining sector committee where a different framework was implemented in the sector.

Milestones Covered Thus Far

Despite the harsh economic environment and the inconsistencies surrounding the existence of the inclusive Government a lot of positives have derived from the implementation of the indigenisation and economic empowerment policy. Thousands of companies have complied with the 5149 principle, a number of Community Share Ownership and Employee Share Ownership Trusts have been established across the country.

Various communities have received CSOT funds and implemented infrastructural projects that are already visible in various areas. We, however, note with concern that quite a number of companies have failed to comply with some of the requirements of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act (Chapter 14:33).

Impact on Foreign Direct Investment

The indigenisation and economic empowerment programme was never meant to dissuade foreign investment in Zimbabwe as widely alleged by a number of individuals. It is primarily meant and intended to enable Zimbabweans to participate meaningfully in the mainstream economy. It actually encourages foreign investors to consider partnering local Zimbabweans with the relevant expertise and capital in business ventures in a win-win situation.

It is our understanding that what investors require from the party and Government is policy clarity and certainty.

As a party, and responsible department we have done everything possible to provide this clarity and certainty.

Thus, so far we are still to encounter a situation where a serious company disinvested from the country or a potential investor reconsidering decision citing indigenisation as the primary cause.

Policy Review and Suggestions Going Forward

We herein put it on record that the indigenisation and economic empowerment policy is not and was never cast in stone. As a party and certainly the Government which governs on behalf is always ready to receive and consider suggestions that can enhance the realisation of the broad aim of the policy, i.e to economically benefit the majority of Zimbabwean citizens.

In this light we have received and considered sector committees recommendations, the Supply and Distribute Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment (SADIE) model as articulated by the former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gono.

We are therefore excited by the suggestions of the Production Sharing Model and the Joint Empowerment Investment Model as articulated by The Sunday Mail attributed to Politburo member Professor Jonathan Moyo.

The suggestions will certainly be considered by the party and incorporated into the indigenisation policy framework with due regards to the original intention of the programme.

We, however, refute the unfortunate allegation that considering reviewing the policy to make it more amenable to both indigenous Zimbabweans and foreign investors represents a huge “climb-down” on the part of the Government and the party.

Policy making is never about climbing up or down, but about planning and implementing what is best in a given scenario be it a political, social or economic environment.

Furthermore, we also have to put it on record that Zanu-PF is a democratic force that allows robust debate in policy discussions in its various organs. However, once the policy is adopted as party position every official, member, associate, affiliate or supporter has an obligation to articulate and support it through thick and thin.

Thus, it is naiumlve to associate a broad party policy with a single department or individual, normally responsible for its implementation.

It is even more absurd to view the adoption of changes or revisions suggested by party members as a victory for the concerned members and a defeat for those who had been articulating the agreed party position. Thus, trying to divide party functionaries into policy moderates and hardlinersradicals is a futile attempt to drive a wedge and kill the transparent and democratic ethos of the party.

Conclusion

In the final analysis the grand stage for the revival of the Zimbabwean economy has been set. The adoption of the Zim-Asset programme is a sure step of progress going forward and deepening of the economic empowerment programme. Consideration on improving the country’s programmes and policies is always on-going and appreciated. However, the current position of the party on indigenisation and economic empowerment has been unwavering and consistent.

If this consistency is replicated at Government level the investors will have a clear message on what needs to be done resulting in positive and secure decision making creating a win-win situation for the investor and Zimbabwe as the host nation.

Kurai Prosper Masenyama is the Director of the Zanu-PF Department of Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment.

Source : The Herald

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