Former ruling Zanu PF party should stop speaking with tongue in cheek and set the record straight as regards its policy on invasions of properties owned by businesspeople of foreign descent.
Does it or does it not condone invasion of privately-owned property?
Otherwise, efforts by other coalition government partners to lure foreign investors into the country will count for nothing.
The party needs to smell roses and realise no country is an island and no investor is prepared to part with his/her hard-earned cash without firm security guarantees.
While on one hand, party functionaries have pretended to take the sanity route, condemning the actions as not only illegal but anti-investment, they have on the other nicodemously urged their youths to grab foreign-owned firms all under the banner of indigenisation and economic empowerment.
It all started with land invasions, or as they call it, the fast-track land reform programme in 2000.
President Robert Mugabe condoned the move when veterans of the country’s war of liberation took to white-owned commercial farms.
When the President briefly left the country on one of his numerous international junkets, then Home Affairs minister John Nkomo ordered the invaders off the properties. But, when President Mugabe flew back, he immediately rescinded Nkomo’s order.
Just a few days ago, Zanu PF deputy national spokesperson and politburo member Cain Mathema denounced the ongoing invasions of foreign-owned properties in Bulawayo.
Ironically, Mathema had in February pledged to assist party supporters and cross-border traders to forcibly occupy any vacant property they would have identified in the city.
As if that was not enough, last week another senior Zanu PF functionary and Cabinet minister, Stan Mudenge, made similar calls urging party youths to grab foreign-owned firms as part of the country’s indigenisation policy.
What baffles the mind is when supping and merry-making with prospective foreign investors, these same politicians speak as if the invasions are not part and parcel of their party programme.
Frankly speaking, no sane investor would dare throw their investments in such a treacherous terrain as ours.
Recent threats by Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere to take over all mining firms that defied his ministry’s 51-49 government-investor shareholding ratio will not help the country’s investment promotion drive.
And that means all efforts by other players in the inclusive government to lure large business into the country will come to naught as long as one of the partners keeps changing colours like a chameleon.
Serious investors the world over could have been scared away by these recent announcements by Zanu PF stalwarts.