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PF pushes for racial empowerment legislation
Henry Makiwa, SW Radio Africa
September 26, 2007
The ruling Zanu PF party
stepped up its campaign to see a racially biased Bill turned into
law after Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Munyaradzi Mangwana,
challenged white Zimbabweans to prove they were disadvantaged by
legislation will give a 51% share holding to “indigenous
people.” The controversial bill defines indigenous as “any
person who before the 18th April 1980 [Zimbabwe's Independence Day]
was disadvantaged by unfair discrimination on the grounds of his
or her race, and any descendant of such person.”
On Tuesday Mangwana told
an all Zanu PF joint Parliamentary Portfolio Committee session on
Budget and Finance that white Zimbabweans who own businesses, including
the ones born after independence, will have to prove they are “indigenious”
by proving they were disadvantaged by colonialism.
Mangwana said: “A
Zimbabwean-born (white) cannot qualify. He has to prove that he
has been disadvantaged by the colonisation. I have been asked if
coloureds are included, yes they are included, Indians they are
also included if they can prove that they were disadvantaged by
the colonial regime. All blacks qualify because they fall within
the definition of indigenous.
"The Bill is not
about economics but politics. It is about the total liberation of
Zimbabwe, it is not to please X, Y or Z," he said.
The draft bill, which
is now before the Harare-based parliament's legal committee, has
raised fears among foreign-owned companies operating in Zimbabwe
that they will soon lose control of their firms.
that may be affected by the policy first unveiled in June, include
Barclays Bank, Bindura Nickel Corporation and mining giant Rio Zim.
Eric Bloch has however dismissed the ruling party’s pursuit
of the bill as a “Robin Hood-style politicking”.
Bloch explained: “The
government want to be seen as if they are taking from the rich and
giving to the poor. Most of this is of course, all rhetoric as we
have seen in the recent past, we are sure they will start back-tracking
has already back-tracked on 17 issues that were propping up their
price freeze blitz in the past three months alone. The Indigenisation
and Empowerment Bill is well timed before the elections to try and
win popular support of most of the people as its racially biased,
but once the elections are over, you will see it being amended.”
came as the Mugabe's government was reinstating the licences of
all private abattoirs in another embarrassing admission that the
state beef monopoly has no capacity to meet demand.
The government withdrew
the licences of all private slaughterhouses on 11 July, accusing
them of defying orders to reduce meat prices by half in the what
the state said was it’s attempt to rein in rampant inflation.
Industry Minister Obert
Mpofu said at the time that the state-owned Cold Storage Company
(CSC) would be given sole responsibility for slaughtering livestock.
But Mpofu on Tuesday
announced that all abattoirs had now been given the green light
to operate admitting that “CSC has no capacity to supply beef
to the nation.”
In June Robert Mugabe
warned that his government would seize and nationalise firms that
were ‘profiteering excessively in a bid to incite Zimbabweans
to revolt against the state.’
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