Japajapa’s response to claims by NCZ leader


Dear Editor
As the president of the Zimbabwe Indigenous Economic Empowerment Organisation (IEEO) I would like to strongly warn the chairman of the Nigerian Community in Zimbabwe (NCZ), Chairman Benson, concerning utterances which he made in an article in the June 24 edition of NewsDay.
Benson asserted that he and his compatriots are well-connected to some senior members of Zanu PF.
This claim puts the name of the party into disrepute, as it infers that Zanu PF is in a dubious and unclear relationship with foreigners, who entered into marriages of convenience with local women so as to fraudulently acquire residence permits.
Benson also said President Mugabe is a champion of black economic empowerment. This may be true but our president does not fight to economically empower bogus briefcase business people who masquerade as investors, yet they are social misfits who have failed to make it in their own country; they have come to Zimbabwe to sell fake merchandise, electrical gadgets and get involved in drug dealing.
When such a person calls himself a friend of influential Zanu PF members, this implies that certain individuals in the party are promoting marriages of convenience, which have caused the influx of social rejects from other countries to come and live in undeserved luxury in Zimbabwe.
President Mugabe is a champion of black economic empowerment who fights for his people — not for foreigners. West African countries like Nigeria have on numerous occasions voted against Zimbabwe at United Nations forums on several issues, notably on the issue of sanctions.
I take Benson’s statements as a challenge.
His claim has been opposed by our members countrywide, as well as by others who are not Zanu PF members.
We intend to apply for police clearance, in compliance with the Public Order and Security Act, in order to prepare for nationwide demonstrations against the type of Nigerians typified by Benson. If permission is granted, we will be on the streets from next week. We would have wanted to solve this problem diplomatically but it seems Benson and his compatriots are spoiling for a fight. How can he have the nerve to call me “an ordinary person”? I intend to show Benson that he is mistaken.
I want to make it clear that I am not promoting xenophobia against foreigners in Zimbabwe, but I am saying that the relevant law, the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act (Chapter 14:33 Third Schedule Section 21) stipulates that there are 14 sectors in the economy which are now reserved against foreign investments.
I can simply make a constitutional application at the Supreme Court and obtain a judgement against any foreigner who is still operating in one of the 14 sectors in which foreign investment is prohibited, according to the law, without necessarily resorting to demonstrations or use of violence. As IEEO, we are not going to express our disagreement with NCZ the South African way; we will do it according to the laws of the country.

Paddington Japajapa
President of Zimbabwe Indigenous Economic Empowerment Organisation