The main opposition MDC-T has said Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment minister Patrick Zhuwao should be reprimanded for advancing “extortionist” policies through his strong campaign for a 10% empowerment levy on all foreign-owned companies.
Party spokesperson Obert Gutu warned the country might be shooting itself in the foot through such policies on overburdened and struggling companies.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Since his appointment a few months ago, Zhuwao has defied criticism from even within Zanu PF, saying there was no going back on the full implementation of the indigenisation policy.
“The minister’s draconian proposal is not only retrogressive, but will, most certainly, cripple the few companies that are still operating in Zimbabwe,” Gutu said.
“Decades of rampant corruption and misguided economic policies combined with gross mismanagement and thievery by the Zanu PF regime have already reduced capacity utilisation to around 34% in industry according to the official statistics that were recently published by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries in conjunction with the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce,” he said.
Gutu said his party found it extremely absurd that the Indigenisation minister would exhibit such kind of archaic and medieval thinking that was essentially centred on illegal and unconstitutional asset-grabbing.
“It is this kind of retrogressive and anachronistic policymaking that has reduced Zimbabwe into a basket case and a virtual a banana republic in a very short period of 35 years since the country attained independence from British colonial rule.
“It is beyond reasonable doubt that Zhuwao’s real intention is not to benefit the majority of the people of Zimbabwe, but to perpetuate the Zanu PF regime’s culture of patronage that will only benefit a few politically well-connected individuals and some other such regime apologists who will get an opportunity to take control of successful business enterprises at no cost to themselves.”
Gutu added: “The move by Zhuwao is blatantly criminal and unconstitutional and, thus, it should be strenuously resisted by all right-thinking and patriotic Zimbabweans.”
The MDC-T said if elected into power, they would repeal the “retrogressive and punitive legislation” and substitute it with policies and programmes that would stimulate growth of an agro-based economy, which would in turn guarantee food security, investment and job creation.
The main opposition party said it would create a social democratic State underpinned by good governance, democracy, honesty, transparency, accountability, the rule of law and respect for the principle of constitutionalism.
At the launch of $10 million grant for youth last week, Zhuwao hit back at his detractors claiming they were sent by whites and that he would not be swayed from fully implementing the policy.