Is indigenisation about to unravel?

HARARE - There are ominous signs that the indigenisation programme is beginning to unravel owing to lack of commitment, honesty and accountability on the part of those supposed to drive the programme.

For all intents and purposes, the noble programme has fallen victim to a dangerous misconception that distributive nationalism can bring about a national change of economic fortunes for the vast majority of the poor.

Common logic dictates that resource nationalism flourishes when government has the wherewithal to inject financial resources into the programme.

Indigenisation has great potential to strike a dent in poverty levels among local people if it were to be handled in a more transparent manner.

While no one doubts the necessity for indigenous people to own their resources, the precocious decision by Zimbabwe has assumed the form of an agonising curse invented by vulturous officials whose mentality is guided by wayward principles, gluttony and avarice.

Officials in charge of the noble cause have stampeded to ensure they wring every financial drop possible out of the noble programme for themselves and their hangers-on at the expense of national benefit.

It is incumbent upon government to change course and interrogate whether this is the best way going forward for an egalitarian distribution of the vast natural and mineral resources that Zimbabwe is endowed with.

Recent accusations by a parliamentary committee regarding a seemingly omnibus non-committal attitude among benefactors and denials by would-be benefactors pose serious questions whether this still remains the sole tenable alternative to empower the majority of the people.

And the reactions by benefactors debunk the myth that the resource distribution programme was well-thought out in the first place hence the need for a re-visit and to spit and polish its policy thrust and implementation procedures while paring out any inconsistencies and plugging any possible loopholes.

It is a gut-churning development that now more than ever before we are witnessing more Zimbabwean banks  becoming foreign-owned despite government’s aggressive indigenisation programme due to lack of essential components that drive the financial institutions.

Another convertible blot on the hastily-thought out programme characterises the mining sector where foreigners, specifically the Chinese, have preferential treatment on mining claims ahead of indigenous people because locals and government together lack the financial resources to singularly see the indigenisation programme through to its successful implementation.

Prudent self-introspection on the part of government is essential to ensure that the programme is hauled back onto its tracks before it degenerates into mere political rhetoric or another vote-harvesting catch phrase.

There is still time for government to re-engineer the programme’s modus operandi.

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