HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsEconomic criminals have gone too far

Economic criminals have gone too far

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David Chapfika, the chairperson of the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board, was the first to announce, quite triumphantly, that at last the move towards the forced sell-offs of the few remaining living banks in the country had been set in motion.

He told delegates at a Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce conference in Victoria Falls last Thursday that regulations — the final nail in the country’s economic coffin — had been gazetted that day and that there was no going back.

NewsDay obtained a copy of the Government Gazette and published details of the contents of the regulations and the implications in yesterday’s issue.

Other than taking over foreign-owned banks, government, through Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere, and the likes of Chapfika intend to pounce on privately-owned educational institutions. They want to grab crèches, primary and secondary schools, private colleges and universities owned by anyone whose skin is not black.

The plan is also extended to engineering companies, the energy sector, telecommunications, transport and motor industry companies, construction, tourism, arts, entertainment and even sports clubs!

It appears the determination to go this insane road has reached eccentric levels where caution and common sense have been flung out the window.

It does not seem to mean anything to proponents of this “empowerment” drive that several banks have fallen or are sinking because they have been run into the ground under the so-called indigenisation instruction.

The men behind this “great idea” have set their eyes on the remaining finance institutions holding Zimbabwe afloat: Barclays, Stanbic, MBCA, Standard Chartered, Ecobank and CABS.

As if to make it simple for everyone to understand how this group of people thinks, Chapfika was recently quoted in the media as saying: “Let me speak on the belief that banks are a sacred sector.
If you decide to kill your cattle for whatever reason, you can’t say this one will be spared. Kill them all!”
The intent would sound noble for the rational mind: That indigenous Zimbabweans must have a stake in the country’s economy and foreign beneficiaries of past injustices must be prepared to share with owners of the land.

But, just how the forced takeover of banks and other well-performing institutions by a few greedy individuals will benefit the majority of Zimbabweans, over 80% of whom live in abject poverty, beats the mind.

At the end of the day, what we have seen clearly demonstrated is that this whole takeover business has personally benefited a few well-connected individuals who, upon taking over flourishing entities, cannibalise them and leave them bleeding shells — with no benefit whatsoever cascading down to the ordinary poor indigenous Zimbabwean in whose name these criminals have made their nefarious deeds law.

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