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seat part 2: Heated debate on Indigenisation Regulations
SW Radio Africa
February 19, 2010
one of this debate
Gonda: Welcome to the final part of the
debate on the new Empowerment
and Indigenisation regulations recently passed by the government.
My guests are businessman Mutumwa Mawere, economist Daniel Ndlela,
the President of the Affirmative Action Group Supa Mandiwanzira
and journalist Peta Thornycroft. Supa picks up from where the discussion
ended last week with Mutumwa saying Zimbabwe needs to generate employment
and encourage the masses of people who left the country to return
- instead of introducing legislation that will add a significant
burden to established businesses.
Mandiwanzira: First of all I don't
buy this argument that Zimbabweans are desperate to be empowered
by jobs. I think that as Zimbabweans we have come a long way as
a people to realise that jobs will not take us anywhere, we now
must own our own resources and then we must control our own destiny.
I do not speak on behalf of the Zimbabwe government or any other
party except the Affirmative Action Group which represents the interests
of those that want to get into the mainstream of the economy and
not be relegated in very Mickey Mouse kind of businesses like selling
at flea markets and stuff like that.
Let me tell you Violet,
the fact of the matter is this, that for instance I'm aware
that at Kamativi Tin Mine a lot of that tin was mined and was used
to make arms during the Second World War but I can tell you that
today if you go to Kamativi you will see some of the poorest of
Zimbabweans. Why has that happened? It is simply because there was
nobody else in the company that exploited those resources who was
Zimbabwean or who was from Kamativi - who ensured that post this
mine we will eventually have another life that is supported by other
infrastructure that we have to build now, and we have many examples.
I'll not mention a platinum, a multi-national company that
operates in Zimbabwe that has got platinum concessions. When a year
or two ago the Zimbabwe government, before the inclusive government,
wanted to take a certain chunk of that platinum so they could do
a trade deal with China . That company requested that they be paid
150 million US dollars and this is an asset that they obtained simply
by getting a Mining Commissioner's stamp. They never spent
a cent in terms of that asset. If they spent a cent, it was merely
on exploration, which of course they've already recovered
by the mining operations they've been undertaking. But to
give up a certain portion of their platinum mining block, which
they were not utilising, they wanted 150 million US dollars.
Now our argument, which
is supported by this Law and Regulation, is that you must now allow
the indigenous people to be part of the ownership, to have 51% and
they determine how these things are happening and what is remaining
in the country. We have nothing to show for all the gold, all the
silver, and all the nickel that has been exploited out of this country
by the multi-nationals. If you drive to some of these mines, and
I'm talking from practical experience, the roads are so terrible
and yet significant resources have been exploited.
So at the end of the
day, we must acknowledge that it is important to have significant
ownership of businesses in Zimbabwe especially some of these that
relate to exploiting our natural resources in the hands of the locals.
The Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, three million of them as Mutumwa
is saying, they will need to come back here, not to come and be
employed again. They've been employed elsewhere, they've
worked hard enough, they must now come and own businesses, this
is their opportunity. And of all things, I have not heard any one
foreign investor issue a statement that this is not good. What I've
heard are Zimbabweans who purport to represent foreign investors
who say this will scare away investment. Let the foreign investors
speak for themselves. As far as we are concerned as the AAG, this
is fantastic, this is the best thing that has ever happened after
Independence in 1980.
I'd like to . . .
Thornycroft: Well actually . . .
Gonda: Yes Peta?
Sorry Violet, we got a foreign investor, Rio Tinto, we interviewed
them in London about these regulations and I know that they've
been talking about a massive expansion, the bottom line on that
expansion is an initial investment of 200 million because it is
quite a small mine and this certainly frightened them off, certainly.
Mandiwanzira Peta, Peta,
I want you to mark my words. Rio Tinto will remain in this country,
Rio Tinto will remain to invest in that 200 million even under the
current circumstances because we have an asset that they want -
because it's an asset they will make profit out of. I can
tell you, even at the height of Zimbabwe 's problems, companies
like Zimplats were announcing putting 400 million dollars into this
market. They shrugged off resistance by foreign governments to say
don't go into Zimbabwe ; they simply said we are doing business.
Now if it makes sense for Rio Tinto or for Zimplats, for any other
to say I will still go into Zimbabwe , I can sell my 51% at market
value and still continue to make money, they will stay in this market
and mark my words - they are going to stay in this market.
Thornycroft: There was
a very long struggle between Zimplats and Gideon Gono at the Reserve
Bank, a long struggle; it went over about three years. As far as
I can remember, when they were being summoned to the 22 nd floor
of the RBZ, where they were being told that they now had to bank
locally, when they had a signed agreement of 20 years previously
- signed by the then Minister Edison Zvobgo, to allow them to have
their off shore banking because they needed to spend these billions
of dollars on imports. They couldn't have it in Zimbabwe because
nobody trusted putting your money in Zimbabwe . There were years
of those struggles. It ended up OK, from what I gather, and whenever
we talk about mining we just need to remember that there is enormous
money that has to be invested in mining over a certain payback time
over some years, and it takes years and years. So for a company
to go and invest it has to be extremely sure and you can see what's
happened in Katanga in the last couple of years. You had an enormous
boom, it was also to do with the prices - but as they got less and
less sure about more and more government taking over percentage
of their companies, you've now reduced from about 70 mining
companies operational in Katanga, say three years ago when I was
going there, down to two or three that have survived. And those
are the very biggest in the world and they're extremely worried.
let me tell you, if you speak to Zimbabwe 's Finance Minister
today, he will tell you that he is not happy at all that the mining
industry in this country contributes only 4% to Gross Domestic Product
but if you look at the kind of profits they are making, you cannot
correlate the two. That's one; Secondly Peta helps my argument.
You have international companies, multi-nationals operating in Zimbabwe,
100% foreign owned, they choose to bank their money outside Zimbabwe
so even where they were banking locally and others can borrow that
money to sustain their business so we can deal with the liquidity
crisis in this country, they choose to bank this money in foreign
banks because they don't trust this market but they trust
taking out the assets of Zimbabweans. And that is where we are saying
it is absolutely wrong for you to come and exploit, even just ensuring
that the Zimbabwean banks benefit from your deposits and continue
to do business to lend and everything, you still don't even
want to do that, you want to bank that money in foreign banks which
do not benefit anyone, so we are simply saying if you . . . (interrupted)
Thornycroft: But the
Reserve Bank used to steal their money . . . .
Mandiwanzira . . . have
indigenous people owning these businesses, 51%. Decisions will be
made who benefit not just themselves but Zimbabweans at large.
Thornycroft: Supa, the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe over the last five years has been dipping
itself into peoples' foreign currency accounts, not individuals
but companies, they've been dipping into foreign currency
accounts and helping themselves to it and then using it in the market
for whatever reason and those companies haven't got payback.
Think of what happened to the gold mines in the last five years,
the few that survived. The problem is Zimbabwe has a very bad record,
it's a difficult time for any investment anywhere in the world
today, and its past record over say the last five, it's going
to have to repair that record because the Reserve Bank in this country . . .
quite patronising, that's quite patronising . . .
Mawere But . . .
Mandiwanzira . . .
The fact of the matter is that if you're operating in Zimbabwe
, and you don't trust the environment, you might as well not
be there. You cannot be coming into my house and you want to have
a meal in my house and say but I don't trust you. So don't
come and have that meal in the house in the first place. We have
an asset . . . (interrupted)
Thornycroft: They were
Mandiwanzira . . . you
can go anywhere in the world and look for a country that has got
the second largest proven resources of platinum, you will not find
it, you will end up coming back to Zimbabwe . We are simply saying
those benefits must accrue to the local people. I do not disagree
that there were problems at the Reserve Bank, there were problems
in the economy but I do not think that these dispensations for banking
outside were given by Gono, I do not think that these dispensations
existed only in the last five years, they have existed for a very
long, long time and we are saying it must stop. What was the reason
that was given for banking money outside, well they didn't
trust the exchange rate, they didn't trust that their money
would be safe, well we have an inclusive government here that has
assured everyone that's it's no longer business as usual,
it's now business unusual. So why don't we bring back
that money at least it circulates within the Zimbabwe banking industry?
Zimplats . . . (interrupted)
the inclusive government has stalled.
Mandiwanzira . . .
makes more than 20 million US dollars a month. If that money was
banked in the local banking system, it will make a difference.
Gonda: Mutumwa, you wanted
to come in?
Mawere Yes, I think
my companies were taken over by State action in 2004; today you
read that at the companies right now workers can't even go
underground because water level is rising, bills have not been paid.
In Zambia where I had an involvement in the copper mines, the examples
are clear of what happened in Zambia . The copper remained underground
but it couldn't be extracted because of policies that inhibit
investment. And when you talk of indigenous, I'm not too sure
whether Supa is listening to his own voice or he's talking
as a businessman because any businessman would know that money cannot
stay in a bad relationship. People are, like the human spirit, the
people who leave Zimbabwe today are not invited by the people who
host them, they find their own way. Good countries don't have
to do anything. When the Berlin Wall fell, the traffic, the human
traffic indicated where people's preference were. Some people
want to swim to freedom and that human spirit, if you are banking
it's the same thing, it's about confidence.
If Zimbabwe does what
it needs to do you don't have to invite anyone to bank the
money. But your costs are foreign. If you're mining, even
the physical assets, the bulldozer is not made in Zimbabwe so you
have to pay for it in foreign currency. When you want to procure
that asset everybody will say - look can you give me evidence
before I put in the ship that you are able to pay for it. And in
Zimbabwe you know that most of the banks don't have, the people
don't have income for known reasons.
So if you are saying
that the asset, if I'm going to bring in the asset like the
special mining lease that was given to BHP to start even exposing
the platinum and that investment that is required without that off-shore
account, the platinum that Supa is talking about today will remain
hidden where it was in the Great Dyke, but somebody had to take
the plunge. But in doing so, some of us were involved in the time
when I was working at the World Bank in trying to convince the government
that it was necessary to open the mining sector to the potential
that was there.
When Cecil John Rhodes,
through Rudd Concession, got the concession from Lobengula what
they thought was the gold that they thought was there, they didn't
even know about platinum but that platinum remained underground,
diamonds remained underground. But to expose it, even to have an
interest in Zimbabwe , people with capital have to look at what
their interests are. And I don't think that Supa himself -
I've seen him in South Africa , that he is allergic to foreign
currency. He's got his own foreign currency - but would want
to pretend today that he can be the custodian, the policeman of
where people bank their own money without him declaring . . .
not suggesting that I'd like to be the custodian Mutumwa,
I'm simply saying if you are a responsible investor and you
are extracting and exploiting a Zimbabwean asset, that's really
grounded, a natural resource . . .
Mawere I'm investing,
I'm putting . . .
Mandiwanzira . . . surely
you must have an obligation to say how can I be of more help in
this society. Zimbabwe . . .
Mawere And you become
the custodian because you were elected the president of the AAG?
Of what I should do? If I go into the country, the minerals remain
in the ground and nothing happens, the platinum will still be in
the Great Dyke . . .
Mandiwanzira . . . I'm
simply saying there's no reason why you should operate an
account outside the banks that are in Zimbabwe . . .
Mawere Are you saying
you don't have an account yourself? I'm saying I've
seen people who are disingenuous and are talking about other people,
when they have their own assets, their own interests. When you want
to buy things from South Africa you have to have the Rands ; if
you want to buy in the US you have to have the US dollars. What
is wrong with that because the costs have to be spent in Zimbabwe
, the private sector party has to pay those costs? It's not
government funds. Whether I put them in Europe , I put them in Zimbabwe
, what's the difference? It's still my money, if it's
in the left hand pocket or the right pocket, it's still my
money. What is your interest in it!?
Mandiwanzira My interest is this - that you've got
to be responsible in a country, if there's no liquidity in
the market and you are turning over 30 million dollars a month,
nobody's taking that money away from you but you have a responsibility
to make everyone else around you prosper, so make the banks prosper
by you know, in circulating that money within that system. That
money you are obtaining it out of a Zimbabwean asset - so you do
have a social responsibility to make sure you are also assisting
others without losing a cent . . .
Mawere So you are now
the social engineer?
Mandiwanzira . . . will
not lose money by banking it at Barclays here in Zimbabwe, they'll
not lose money by banking it at CBZ, they'll not lose any
cent, we are simply saying that money must be operated in Zimbabwean
accounts so the liquidity crisis is resolved so that the people
are able to borrow from the banks, because this money has been generated
out of Zimbabwean assets, what we are doing . . .
Mawere Like I, Supa . . .
Mandiwanzira . . . is
we are allowing that money to be lent to other investors elsewhere
and those are the ones who are benefiting.
Mawere Supa, I am by
definition of the law I am indigenous, previously disadvantaged,
but I have never had the AAG even raise a finger about assets of
an indigenous being taken and being administered by someone appointed
by the State.
Mandiwanzira We don't
have to shout about the actions we take and I don't think
this is the platform to talk about what we have done for you to
recover your assets or . . .
Mawere Oh if it's
Rio Tinto you shout?
Mandiwanzira . . . to
be resolved. We don't have to do it in public.
Mawere Oh if it's
Rio Tinto we do it in public?
Mandiwanzira We are
talking about a law that has been implemented in Zimbabwe that affects
Mawere I see, it doesn't
Mandiwanzira Oh come
Gonda: Let me go to Daniel
to get his thoughts on this. Daniel, Supa has said Zimbabweans have
nothing to show for all the resources that have been exploited.
First of all, is this the right way to redress the situation? And
also do you agree with this bearing in mind of what happened in
the Chiadzwa diamond area where Zimbabwe has the resources but there
are Zimbabweans who are exploiting those diamonds?
Ndlela: Well the fact that Zimbabweans have nothing to
show for the minerals under the ground is quite a fact but the issue
here - who is responsible for that 30 years after Independence ?
Is it some foreigner out there or some people who are ruling us?
Governance is about fairness, is about transparency, is not about
empowering a few people.
Mandiwanzira I agree
with Daniel that there's somebody to blame for the past 30
years but at last finally we are seeing some action so we applaud
it. We now have an opportunity to make sure that it is happening
and we are controlling it.
Gonda: But Supa, why
has it taken 30 years to redress this situation?
you are asking the wrong person, you must ask those people who were
responsible. I think that as AAG and other empowerment groups, we've
been making this noise for many, many years. And I know for a fact
that the move that we began to see in the financial sector where
licences, banking licences were then issued to people like Mutumwa
and others, was out of this push to say how can you continue to
have a few organisations, few determining who should get money and
what sort of terms, why don't we allow our own people to get
into these sectors like banking? That's why we saw that happening
out of that pressure. So I think the same sort of pressure that
has been put on government to say where can we not see our people
playing a part in the biggest of enterprises that were achieved
by some people simply by getting a government stand, why can we
not get into those assets? Because the majority of these mines were
given away, these concessions were given away by just a government
rubber stamp, nothing else. No money brought in, no evidence of
money, special concessions, bank your money in foreign countries,
do whatever you want, you don't pay tax for the next five
years and all these kind of things. We are simply saying if you
are giving a foreigner that benefit, 51% of that benefit must accrue
to a Zimbabwean.
Gonda: Daniel, do you
have anything to add?
Ndlela The point here,
the moralistic behaviour of people at the top of leadership positions
is sickening and that is actually the point. And as long as we have
a situation where all these laws are done in opaqueness, in areas
that you don't understand what is happening, empowering whether
it's indigenous empowering - it is about empowering a few.
Supa is the president now, where is the former popular president?
He has enriched himself, he is quiet. So is this about the empowering
of Zimbabweans? . . .
Mandiwanzira We don't believe at the Affirmative Action that
we must be like graders - we open the way for others and we are
not allowed to walk on that same road.
OK so as soon as you are empowered you disappear Supa?
absolutely nothing wrong with anyone who is with AAG or any other
empowerment group to make money. And blacks must not be apologetic
for being rich because it is their country and it is their resources.
Ndlela At this point
in time I think if we were to come back to the subject matter is
that we have to talk about governance and leadership positions in
this whole matter so that we know very well that we are talking
about the people who actually should be empowered. The people to
me who should be empowered are the working people of this country,
not the few intellectuals who are intellectually dishonest in the
first place. The people to be empowered are the people to be empowered
through the normal avenues of empowerment not the avenues of actually
picking up the few and then the minister is going to allocate from
his head that Supa is number one in this thing and next is Supa
number two and of course I'm not going to put my hat in that
Gonda: Do you believe
companies should even bother to fill in their plans for indigenisation
by March 01 or defy this, or worse still, strip down the assets
Ndlela Well, there's
no question of believing or not believing. The law has been set,
the companies are going to behave in a way that they will actually
be safeguarding their interests. What will their interests be here?
Their interests in the next five years, they will not invest so
that the cake is smaller because it is going to be taken over by
the new 51% ownership. So companies are actually going to be less
enthusiastic, may close down or may keep the status quo as it is
but without investing because if you have your money you must invest
your money where your mouth is. You're not going to invest
your money where other people are going to come in. And you don't
even know who is going to be in bed with you until somebody is then
allocated to you. Companies are either going to follow the rule
because this is the letter of the law or are going to bolt out.
And Peta, we said at the beginning of this discussion that Morgan
Tsvangirai, the Prime Minister in this coalition government, that
the move had been made without his knowledge, so first of all, did
he really need to be consulted since the law was passed in parliament
and what does this also say about how this unity government is operating?
Well from what I've read of the GPA
and we've all been writing about it for long enough, yes,
Morgan should have been consulted about it. He is the Prime Minister
of this country but he seems to have no power. Things seem to take
place which he has absolutely no power to stop. People being arrested,
let's go back to where Mutumwa was talking about his company
being specified and so little has been written about this both by
us foreign journalists and the domestic journalists, what happened
to Mutumwa's companies. But when it hit Meikles, and I am
presuming it hit Meikles because journalists or those who visited
Zimbabwe know about Meikles Hotel, there was this enormous outcry.
Giles Mutsekwa, the MDC Minister signed this specification apparently
idiotically and it has in fact, allegedly been reversed. But beyond
that it seems to me that in the inclusive government it's Mugabe's
decision about whether something will or will not be fulfilled from
the Global Political Agreement.
18 months since the Global Political Agreement was signed but we're
stuck, paralysed with the inclusive government, at the moment with
outstanding issues. I was at the SADC Summit where these things
were agreed and we're still quibbling about it. Until we have
a new constitution, so that we're going to free and fair elections,
why would anybody invest in us? Because we don't know what
is going to happen and we've got a very poor record of elections.
In 2008 from March 28th or about April 11th until June 30th, I was
in hospital, interviewing injured people because we had an election.
So we've got a very bad record here. We have a very bad record
of our government taking money, we have a very bad record of the
de-industrialisation of this country. We've lost at least
40 or maybe 60% of the industries we had in 1980, particularly in
the last ten years. So we are a very bad, risky country and until
the political situation is sorted out and we can move into free
and fair elections without being beaten up because you want to support
whoever it is in your area, and until we have all of those normal
aspects of democracy, I can't imagine there being any investment
at all. Let alone when you can go to jail if you haven't managed
to sort out 51% shareholding requirements of a company that you
might have been building up for 15, 20 or 40 years.
that nothing or any progress can be made until the political side
of the country, the governance is sorted out, that has to come first
before we have regulations about handing over 51% of companies because
they might be foreign owned. And we say the mining companies contributed
nothing to this country? No, I think even in 1980, even despite
all the racial discrimination and how unfair it was for black people,
we got some roads, we got some hospitals, we got some stuff out
of it and we haven't done a hell of a lot since then. Since
1980 - what have we done to expand our industrial base, our
mineral exploitation, and our retail base - what have we done?
Gonda: Supa, let me come
to you to get your comment on this statement made by the Prime Minister
that the regulations are null and void since this issue was not
discussed in Cabinet. What can you say about this?
Mandiwanzira Well I
am pretty much aware that these regulations were gazetted by a government
in which the Prime Minister is part of and that the Minister who
gazetted the regulations reports to the Prime Minister in the Council
of Ministers, and that this was done by the government of Zimbabwe
. Now the Prime Minister says he was not consulted and they are
null and void I don't know how the whole process can be reversed
and I do not like to talk about that but as far as I'm concerned
and as we are concerned at the AAG, this is the law, if you want
to change the law you've got to take the whole process back
to parliament and see what you can do. And as far as we are concerned,
we are taking them as legal, as the law as this has been done by
the inclusive government. Whether one has been consulted or not
consulted we believe those are only deficiencies in that inclusive
government and we have nothing to do with those deficiencies, as
far as we are concerned this is the right thing that has happened,
we are moving on.
Gonda: But this is the
Prime Minister saying this is not the right thing and this regulation
was sneaked through. So is that not a problem?
the Movement for Democratic Change in parliament with ZANU PF, they
passed this law so unfortunately it's action after. You know
I think it should have been stopped if the Prime Minister and his
political party didn't agree, it should have been stopped
at the process of being legislated. Unfortunately you cannot now
say when you have legislated law and say you don't like it.
You want to change it, go back and start the process again.
Thornycroft: Well it . . .
Gonda: But as we all
know, this was done when ZANU PF was still in the majority in parliament.
Well because they had been voted by the people of Zimbabwe to be
in the majority.
Gonda: Peta, you wanted
to say something?
Thornycroft: I just wanted
to say that this went through parliament literally days before parliament
was dissolved and ZANU PF was in the majority and I can't
actually recall, and I tried to look it up, what the MDC actually
said about this legislation and we should in fact be consulting
them and ask them what they thought about it then and did they or
didn't they put up a good fight about it, but they only had
about 42 MPs then.
Mutumwa, your thoughts on this?
Mawere I think it's always difficult to,
you can comment about the process and whether you're consulted
or whether you are not, but at the end of the day, what the country
requires now, it requires some adjustment, requires a different
viewpoint, a different world view and if we know that the kind of
changes that we are talking about can bring the results that are
predictable and sustainable then well and good. But when you know
what has happened in other countries pursuing similar policies and
you then say look, irrespective of that let me go head on. The law
in question was passed as Peta has rightly said, before the inclusive
government and before the elections and people of Zimbabwe spoke
and I think their voice really saying let Zimbabweans find each
other, find the most optimal way of advancing the nation that's
the interest - that requires now consultation and if the Prime Minister
says he was not consulted because now they are in a position where
they need to ventilate their own ideas and people who may see the
world differently from the people who controlled parliament at the
time, they have to deal with it.
Even our laws
even the Reconstruction Act was passed - it doesn't
make it a good law and whether you're consulted and somebody's
driving, you may consult a passenger but at the end of the day,
if you fall asleep on the steering, you'll have an accident,
it doesn't change the speed but surely you must be able to
say to your people who are in the car today and say this is where
we are, we need to go to Point A or Point B, what is the best way
of getting there. And if Supa believes in his own bones that this
is the best way to build a nation, then that's it - then we
would have to look at Supa and say how have you build yours - around
a collective structure where your profits become subject to corporate
social responsibility or whether indeed you have advanced your own
interests and if you die today, your family is the successor to
What kind of society
does Zimbabwe need to be and what kind of society we encourage anyone,
not just people who were born in Zimbabwe, those who may be born
outside Zimbabwe, albeit with Zimbabwean parents or those who are
born outside Zimbabwe with no Zimbabwean parents to believe in the
promise of Zimbabwe and that requires not just minerals, that it's
our minerals, it requires people to build confidence and that's
what we should be focussing on. Without it you might have the best
resources in the world but they will remain in the ground and without
it you may have the best laws, all the procedures you say you are
implementing but you know it's toxic at the end of the day
because it discourages the very people we need to build the country
and provide confidence that jobs will be there and the country can
advance its own interest. Zimbabwe is too small to be able to command
its own destiny without other people's input.
So I think those are
the areas that I would rather focus on. As the Prime Minister in
the inclusive government, there's a contestation for power
because there's a transitional structure but what is not transitional
is Zimbabwe . Zimbabwe will remain whether this President or that
President or this Prime Minister or that Prime Minister, but what
are Zimbabwe 's interests and how can they best be advanced.
Does this law advance? Does the Reconstruction Law advance? Does
AIPPA, does POSA advance the Zimbabwean cause? And we may decide
to broaden the conversation so that we also understand why people
would leave Zimbabwe if there was promise - and if this law, I guess
judging by what Supa is saying, we will have now new plane loads
and bus loads of people coming back because the Indigenisation Law
has given some life. I don't believe so. People will remain
where they are because there are other things that drive the human
Gonda: OK, let me just
finish by getting a final word from Daniel Ndlela?
Ndlela As far as this
law is concerned, we will wait to see but the immediate perception
of this law, it's a bad law. It's a law that is not
going to encourage investment in our country. Whether we praise
ourselves and say so on and say let those who come from the east
or come from the south, they will come here, the law itself is really
not going to assist us. When it comes to the consultation between
the Prime Minister and so on, that has to be sorted out there. In
other words they show there is a serious lack of governance in the
system as a whole, let them sort out that one, but as far as this
law is concerned it is coming at a time when Zimbabweans actually
needed more money into our system and a fresh money into the system
and the law itself is not going to encourage that.
Gonda: Supa, a final
Mandiwanzira Well my
final word is this; that I'm not suggesting, as has been said
by Mawere, that there are going to be plane loads of Zimbabweans
coming back because of the Indigenisation Law. My point is this;
that here is now an opportunity for Zimbabweans who have worked
so hard in the Diaspora to come back and come and serve themselves,
not serve the same master who they were serving overseas or in other
countries, that's one. The second point that I need to make
is that people need to read and understand this law and the investors
more importantly need to understand this law because if they rely
on media reports they will be misled. The reality is that there
is a process that says an investor must identify the right partner
and that right partner must pay market value for whatever shareholding
they are getting. And I would like to encourage every Zimbabwean
to say this is an opportunity to come and board and make a difference,
this is not a free for all, you've got to raise money and
you've got to be able to buy into a business that you can
take forward not a business that you can run down. So I'm
saying this is the festive season for all banks, for all sons to
now look at opportunities that they can now develop in Zimbabwe
. If you do not come on board, this train is not stopping no matter
how much people talk against this move, the train is not stopping,
come on board and let's go.
Mawere Yes I think there
are a lot of lessons available in the world of what can be done
and what should not be done and I think we all should also rely
on what has worked and what has not worked and there are some laws
that will not advance the collective interests of the country and
such laws require review and require interrogation and the more
we do that, the more we find what really should work for the country's
Gonda: And Peta?
so difficult to do business in Zimbabwe anyway. The record of the
previous government has been to legislate, restrict, control, take
over and interfere with. And so we have an economy 30 years after
Independence that is a small fraction of what it was in 1980, where
industries have closed down and where perhaps only the retail sector
has enlarged. We desperately need industries that create goods,
services, jobs and a law like this is just anti expansion. It's
actually a childish law, it's a law based on spitefulness.
It has nothing to do with creating a Zimbabwe where the majority
of the population is employed and where the raw materials are beneficiated
for everyone's good - for the companies' good, for the
workers' good etc. ZANU PF has no record of success and Minister
Saviour Kasukuwere who has created these legislations in consultation
with his colleagues, should be advised to do what is necessary to
expand the economy and not contract it. At the beginning of this
debate I said instead of taking over companies, 51% no matter how
it is done, why is the energy of this country not going into creating
new companies even to replace those companies that have closed down
in the last ten to 15 years? That would be creative, this is just
Gonda: That was businessman
Mutumwa Mawere, economist Daniel Ndlela, the President of the Affirmative
Action Group Supa Mandiwanzira and journalist Peta Thornycroft speaking
on the programme Hot Seat.
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