By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
27 May 2014
The ruling ZANU PF government’s proposal to review the indigenisation and economic empowerment policy is a tacit admission the program has failed, the editor of a weekly newspaper said on Tuesday.
Itai Dzamara, the editor of the Harare based weekly The New Leader, told our Speak Out Padare program ZANU PF is under immense pressure to change the controversial law that has been abused by its politicians to amass wealth for themselves.
‘The indigenisation law and the land reform program have killed the economy of this country while it has made an elite few very rich. People like Kasukuwere have abused the program to grab company shares for themselves, their wives, girlfriends and relatives.
‘During the land reform program, people who never owned a garden were recipients of multiple farms who moved onto the properties to strip them of assets,’ Dzamara said.
In a mark of the depth of division within ZANU PF on the issue, two of the leading state newspapers, The Sunday Mail and The Herald, have differed sharply over the use of the word ‘climb-down’ on the proposal.
In an article under the headline ‘Govt in major climb-down’ the weekly Sunday Mail said the developments will be viewed as an apparent victory for policy moderates like central bank boss Gideon Gono, who it said was a vocal dissenter during his time at the bank against indiscriminate implementation of the policy in the banking sector.
Barely 24 hours later the Herald responded to the article, accusing its sister publication of misfiring over the suggestion there was a ‘major climb-down’ on indigenisation.
Gono has reportedly always thought the government’s one-size-fits all indigenisation approach could be detrimental to the economy.
But last year Information Minister Jonathan Moyo offensively described Gono’s thinking as ‘house nigger logic’, something the Herald repeated again on Monday.
Dzamara explained that the differing opinions in the two government papers appears to express the views of the two factional camps in ZANU PF, saying the article on Sunday mirrors what the Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s camp thinks of the indigenisation program.
‘What you saw from the article in the Herald was a response by the Emmerson Mnangagwa camp. This shows you the level of disconnect with reality within ZANU PF,’ Dzamara added.