Vice-President Joice Mujuru has challenged Zimbabweans to thoroughly debate the country’s indigenisation policy and not to allow politicians to set up an agenda on issues that affect ordinary people’s lives.
Mujuru was speaking yesterday at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Business Conference, organised by the National Economic Consultative Forum, where she officiated.
Responding to a question on indigenisation, Mujuru said it was an emotive issue and had produced “more heat than light”.
“The issue of indigenisation is a very pregnant one and we have to discuss it as a nation. What I suggest we should do is to engage ourselves on the issue. Indigenisation is not being done for Zanu PF, neither is it being done for the Global Political Agreement group nor is it being done for a certain clique, but it is for all Zimbabweans. We have a bad culture of keeping things silent. Don’t wait until one explodes. I think that’s our mistake.
“It is good to have ministers and the government, but top-to-bottom policies are dangerous. We are all here to discuss matters that will be practiced for generations to come,” she said.
The ZITF exhibition opened on Tuesday and will run until Saturday. Mujuru said it was amazing that some people were dismissing indigenisation as a Zanu PF project to gain votes.
“I have heard people say it (indigenisation) is a gimmick by Zanu PF to gain votes. Do you think this intervention (indigenisation) will make us all belong to one party? No,” she said.
Mujuru said indigenisation was meant to fulfil some of the aspirations of the independence struggle.
“Our intention is not to cause disunity on the nation of Zimbabwe, but to bring all of us together. As Zimbabweans, we should not just wait for government to say something and then we oppose,” she said.
Mujuru said while it was ideal to engage Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to rebuild the country, what was important was for Zimbabweans in the motherland to work hard.
“We can create time, we can create opportunities, we can create a desk within a certain ministry to digest contributions from the Diaspora. But, I don’t know, maybe it’s because of my background in the army, why do we in Zimbabwe wait until things get to the brink? Today we are talking about Diasporans, who do they think will make this country useful? Me and you. This country is ours. Do we want to make it a useless country? If that is what we want, it will become a useless country,” she said.