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MPs in parliamentary walk-out in protest at racist bill
Henry Makiwa, SW Radio Africa
September 27, 2007
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change on Wednesday night
walked out of parliament in protest at the racially biased Indigenisation
and Empowerment bill, as Zanu PF MP's pushed the bill through
The goal of
the controversial bill is to ensure at least a 51% shareholding
for indigenous black people in the majority of businesses - including
the rich banking and mining sector.
Through a heated
session late Wednesday night, the opposition opposed the bill in
its entirety, labelling it "racist" and accusing the ruling
party of plotting to loot the national coffers through the planned
ensued culminating in the opposition walking out. Arguments started
when Harare North MP Trudy Stevenson, Dzivaresekwa legislator Mr
Edwin Mushoriwa and Kambuzuma legislator Mr Willias Madzimure opposed
a section of the Bill which defined "indigenous Zimbabweans".
legislators maintained that the section was racist, unconstitutional
and not consistent with international conventions Zimbabwe had signed
upholding equality of all people regardless of race.
The ruling party's
MPs however remained adamant that the bill would benefit the majority
of the black populace and pushed it through for enactment by Robert
Mugabe, because of their superiority in numbers in parliament.
Nelson Chamisa, said the opposition accused the ruling party of
creating lawful grounds for its leaders to loot national resources
if the planned legislation is enacted.
"We opposed every clause of that bill because it is clearly
for the benefit of Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies. They are setting
the stage for themselves to loot the national coffers under the
guise of empowering the common people.
to walk out was a statement of divorcing ourselves from a ploy to
loot the country unjustly. So Zanu PF remains alone in passing the
bill and will be held responsible for its parasitic approach at
munching everything good in its way. The most unfortunate thing
however is that this new development further shuns investors away
when we badly need them."
legislation also provides for the establishment of an empowerment
fund which will offer assistance to the "financing of share
acquisitions" from the public-owned firms or assist in "management
buy-ins and buy-outs.
The Bill will
affect a number of foreign owned companies, including the world's
two largest platinum producers and there are fears that it will
signal the death knell for the country's economy.
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