THE Zimbabwe Communist Party (ZCP) has blamed government’s indigenisation policy for causing the current economic crisis, which has culminated in the crippling cash shortage.
BY SILAS NKALA
ZCP secretary-general, Ngqabutho Mabhena said there could be no long-term solution for Zimbabwe’s problems until industry has been brought back on line.
The government introduced the indigenisation policy, where foreign-owned companies were to cede 51% shares to the locals and remain with at least 49%.
“The fact is that the closing down of industry by the parasitic black bourgeoisie in the name of ‘indigenous empowerment’ is the chief cause of the current problems,” he said.
“After taking over existing and productive industries, the parasites’ interests were and have continued to be immediate self-gratification and conspicuous consumption, building themselves mansions and importing expensive cars. They have rarely been willing or able to carry on the organisation of production — not even in the normal, albeit exploitative capitalist way.”
Mabhena said despite regular, verbal attacks on imperialism and monopoly capitalism, it was the ruling Zanu PF government in 1991 which rejected economic planning and self-sufficiency, in favour of the neo-liberal Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (Esap).
“This was despite the verbal rejection of Esap by the workers in the late nineties. However, the spirit of ‘grab-what-you-can’ has remained, the spirit by which the elite has administered, which is characterised by looting,” he said.
“The result is the severe reduction of the tax base, which is meant to fund government activities. Currently, any money coming in from taxation is used almost wholly for the payment of government salaries and even then, salaries are frequently paid late and the number of government employees has dropped to well below the number needed for any level of efficiency.”
Mabhena said the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness has also undermined the ability of those still remaining in formal employment to work efficiently.
“The chances of a large-scale uprising against the government are increasing, but it could be spontaneous and without clear leadership or direction. If and when it happens, it will be unlikely that it brings any solution to the problems.”
ZCP called for an urgent national economic dialogue involving all political parties and other stakeholders to brainstorm on the way out of the crisis.
“This dialogue has to include the ruling party, all major opposition parties, trade unions, business, civil society organisations, technocrats and religious groupings. We also call on Sadc, especially those countries led by former liberation movements, to oversee this process as the Zimbabwean situation is likely to threaten regional stability. We also call on the Brics [an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] countries to organise financial assistance in the event of a reasonable agreement being concluded,” Mabhena said.
“All Zimbabweans are aware that the period of the inclusive government temporarily improved the situation in our country. To move forward in this crisis, we need a new global agreement coupled with the immediate implementation of the new Constitution.”