I MAY well be wrong but the Indigenisation Bill is expecting foreign companies and others to sell or give a majority shareholding to indigenous persons (as defined).
This is a case of forcing companies to do something that they
may not wish to do. Zanu PF is not looking at this from an economic viewpoint but from a political one.
If the companies do the same thing they will appreciate that politically they should give/sell the controlling interest in their company to indigenous persons of opposition parties and not to the persons of the ruling party which is forcing them into doing this. At least this way there is a possibility that should the opposition succeed in the next election, they would consider reversing this legislation.
This would result in the ruling party making the opposition parties considerably stronger by putting the business sector into their camp, which, I am sure, was not the intention behind the legislation.
It is equally surprising that the opposition party has not thought through this and has not been to see the business leaders, possibly they have.
Be that as it may, I trust that the Herald reporting of the debates in parliament and the Senate are correct and that the minister is recorded as saying that the legislation is not racial and is not against whites but is to correct imbalances created by the colonial regime. This should mean that all companies created after April 1980, which were created under the present government, should not be subject to this legislation.
In fact one could go back further to the Unilateral Declaration of Independence of Ian Smith which was the last time that there was effective colonial exercise of power.
One also has to question the racial denial if the minister actually said: “If a white person wishes to start a business he should partner with an indigenous person”. Then follows “we are not stopping anyone from starting a business, it is not racism to correct wrong things”.
What is wrong with being white? Can this be interpreted to mean that a white child born in 1980 in Zimbabwe should be considered indigenous, the same as a black child?
The regulations are to be monitored by the minister and maybe he is to ensure that party or other individual interests are looked after.
The Herald newspaper is making great play on international sanctions against the country and how this is affecting everyone and the specifically the poor, and providing samples. If we accept that this is all true then parties in opposition to the government can claim that these sanctions would fall away if the present government was elected out of office.
One has to ask — are these good political decisions and what is the calibre of the opposition parties who are not picking up on these things and using them to advantage?