PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday threatened to deal with leaders involved in illicit accumulation of wealth.
Report by Moses Matenga
Addressing delegates attending the national indigenisation indaba in Harare, Mugabe said culprits fingered in shady economic deals deserved to stay in jail. Both MDCs boycotted the conference held at a city hotel.
“There is need for us to be disciplined please. Getting rich is not possible in one stroke. You have to work for it. It’s a process that you can’t do in a day,” he said.
“If you do that (seeking to get rich quickly) actually, you deserve to go to jail. Please be disciplined, be honest. It’s the ethics and morality of it.”
Mugabe said the indigenisation programme must not only focus on grabbing already existing companies, but on creating companies for job creation.
“I have been emphasising to (Indigenisation minister Saviour) Kasukuwere that the process of taking 51% from companies is a process of empowering our people in companies that exist, but our great achievement will be our own people creating their own companies and not just taking what has been done by others,” the President said.
Mugabe lashed out at a British-owned tobacco processing firm BAT (British America Tobacco), accusing it of applying unorthodox means to elbow out its local competitor Savannah.
“I am disturbed by the information that we have received over the week that British America Tobacco operating with groups in South Africa have been taking action, illicit action, against another group called Savannah.”
“Lots of things have been happening where trucks belonging to Savannah were disappearing. Police are investigating the matter. These are briefings I get from the security over the week. It’s being done to kill competition. It’s just unacceptable and some people will have to answer for it. It’s a big issue.”
The attack occurred in the presence of top BAT officials who were among the delegates.
He said the government was not getting what it was supposed to obtain from mines, adding that the inclusive government had been troublesome.
“We are not getting what we should get from mines and this includes platinum mines. People doubt what we get from diamonds is (really) all what we are supposed to earn.”