Lawlessness discredits indigenisation

HARARE - Zanu PF’s celebrated indigenisation and empowerment programme has been dealt a heavy blow after revelations of irregularities in the award of tenders for the scheme.

In any democratic society, the responsible authorities would be duty-bound to provide satisfactory answers, failure of which heads would roll.

Saviour Kasukuwere, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister, failed to explain what now appears to be a scandal of disturbing proportions, choosing social media only to issue a rallying call about the programme going ahead.

At the weekend, the Zanu PF-alligned media made a feeble attempt to bat away the allegations.

Still we did not get a convincing explanation as to how Brainworks Capital was handed the job to handle indigenisation deals without going to tender.  

According to their “sources”, the National Indigenisation and Empowerment Board (Nieeb) sought the services of other companies but settled on Brainworks based on merit.

It is rather bizarre that the sources of this information would not want to speak on record.

Secondly, the nameless Nieeb “sources” evaded explanation on how the board settled for Brainworks given regulations stipulating putting to tender public contracts involving more than $300 000.

Then we had a rabid personal attack on RBZ governor Gideon Gono by Jonathan Moyo; still no answers but the usual diatribe. A discredited politician defending a discredited programme.

One can only conclude that, so far, none of the responsible authorities is prepared to show face and officially defend what seems indefensible.

Kasukuwere only says the “wolves are on the doorstep” while the public media claims indigenisation is under threat.  

But the threat to indigenisation is not coming from the unnamed “wolves.” The threat is coming from the wolves linked to Zanu PF who are quietly feeding off the programme while many Zimbabweans wallow in abject poverty.

The community share ownership schemes have become the pretty face of a programme with a dirty underbelly.  
Typically, it is these community schemes that will continue to be flagged up by the Zanu PF in an attempt to distract us from the shady deals benefitting the elite.

The only statement of intent came from Didymus Mutasa who says Zanu PF will probe the scam.

But this is not a party issue; it is a government matter as it relates to tender procedures as stipulated by the law.

This latest scandal only adds to Zanu PF’s litany of corrupt activities since Willogate.

It is not long ago that some Zanu PF elites sought to “empower” themselves in the Save Conservancy.
And then we had others of the same political shade allegedly involved in collecting money from diamond firms for personal benefit. These have reportedly been suspended.

That is the Zanu PF strategy; it descends upon these middle-rank officials in order to create a façade of stern action against corruption while the big fish remain untouched.

For flouting tender procedures, the indigenisation scam only attests to Zanu PF’s general disrespect of the law.
Let’s turn to Renco. Where else in the world would you find someone turning up at a mine, or any company for that matter, and announcing he is now the general manager?

The lack of the rule of law is this country is quite breath-taking. The “invasion” of the mine is reminiscent of the wildcat farm occupations of yesteryear when people settled and assumed ownership of the farms without compliance with the law.

Walter Mzembi — long held as the voice of reason among a madding crowd — holds a portfolio whose success depends on the country’s image.

Indeed, he earned kudos for his stance on the Save case.

Mzembi might also be doing his utmost to sell the country for its beautiful scenery, animals and jungles ahead of the UNWTO conference.

But he should surely know that the international audience he is courting does not tolerate the law of the jungle among human and civilised societies.

When you lie down with dogs — perhaps, wolves, to borrow from Kasukuwere — you wake up with fleas.

Mzembi does not come out of the Renco saga smelling of roses.

As a country, we need to address the rule of law; that includes respect for tender and labour laws. - Conrad Nyamutata

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.