Our land is ours 100pc: Mugabe

HARARE - Foreigners shall only have access to Zimbabwe’s natural resources on condition that government approves but without this exemption, locals shall hold 100 percent of the country’s mineral wealth, President Robert Mugabe said yesterday.

Speaking at the burial of veteran nationalist Nathan Shamuyaria at the National Heroes Acre, Mugabe said when it comes to land and minerals, foreigners will not have a say.

“Our land is ours 100 percent and anyone who comes in has to abide with our conditions. Where in Europe have you ever heard of a Zimbabwean who has 100 percent ownership of a mine?

“However,  company ownership is a different and less significant area. We invite them to help us where we are failing,” said Mugabe.

He explained that locals will have 100 percent ownership of all natural resources with foreigners being allowed to contribute only after government’s approval.

“All we are saying is we have 100 percent ownership of all our resources. We should talk about 100 percent possession by Zimbabweans.

“Our minds have been trained to accept mediocrity and now we are thinking that asking for 51 percent is much, but when it comes down to empowering the people of Zimbabwe, it is not even enough,” said Mugabe.

This comes as Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa recently told Parliament there would be 100 percent ownership of resources.

“Please, do not confuse ownership with control. I have said all our struggles have been to assert our control over resources and that control is 100 percent,” Chinamasa said adding that; “What we now do with exploitation of that is a matter of policy. How we exploit our land…and our minerals which are depleting… is now going to be a policy issue.”

Mugabe’s Cabinet has since ordered Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment minister Francis Nhema to craft a paper clarifying government’s position on the controversial piece of legislation– compelling foreigners to give up 51 percent shareholding despite nature of business.

Chinamasa told Parliament the document will put to an end speculation surrounding the law.

Mugabe’s utterances come at a time when reports that government has shifted its stance on the implementation of the policy, moving from a one-size-fits-all approach to a sector specific one.

Mugabe ruled out the one-size-fits-all indigenisation approach, saying only companies utilising the country’s natural resources will be required to immediately turn over majority stakes to indigenous Zimbabweans.

Last week, Nhema told civil society groups that the country had plans to extend compliance grace periods in the Indigenisation Act for “serious investors”.

“Government will not change the indigenisation law. There is a difference between reviewing a law and agreeing on a period for compliance with the law.

“If investors want to bring their knowledge for the benefit of the country, then government is flexible to negotiate on a model for compliance within a specified period in line with the 51 percent local ownership thrust,” said Nhema.

Nhema said the olive branch would be extended to “sincere investors” only.

Mugabe also rubbished reports that 70 percent the country’s population is unemployed, arguing the Land Reform Programme had given people employment.

“There are false reports going around that over 70 percent of the population are unemployed, this is false.

“Most of our people live in the rural areas and in those parts we have the A1 Resettlement Scheme.

“So if you have a home in the rural area you therefore possess some acreage so you cannot be unemployed,” he told the cheering crowd.

Comments (5)

As long as the ZimAsset remains mockingly empty and tormenting him Mugabe will be forced to go over and over again his misguided indigenisation policy. Whenever Mugabe, Chinamasa or any of the other Zanu PF leaders are speaking to anyone with money to contribute into the begging bowl they readily admit the policy was ill-advised, a “nonsense” according to Chinamasa. But the language changes when they are addressing the party die-hards. The tyrant has denied the people a meaningful say in the governance of the country; by blatantly rig-ging the 2013 elections he granted the people 0% say in who governed the country and what policies they implemented. And now he wants to maintain they lie that this indigenisation policy will give the people 100% ownership of the nation's resources when the only people who will benefit as with all other similar policies is him and his cronies. The economic meltdown will continue as long as the ZimAsset remains mockingly empty and it will remain mockingly empty as long as the donors and investors continue to shy away scarred away by the ill-advised indigenisation policy! Donors and investors have all the time in the world to wait for the regime to finally come to its sense on this policy the important question is, it is the regime's dilly-dally has landed the nation in this mess already, how much more human misery does it expect the people to endure?

Wilbert Mukori - 8 June 2014

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It's a pity ZANU PF idiots still believe RGM's hypocrisy. Land has simply been grabbed by his henchmen to grow grass while the nation goes hungry. Just look at what is happening in Mazoe.The so called indigenization policy was meant to grab profit making companies & give them to his men.

hypocrites - 9 June 2014

It's a pity ZANU PF idiots still believe RGM's hypocrisy. Land has simply been grabbed by his henchmen to grow grass while the nation goes hungry. Just look at what is happening in Mazoe.The so called indigenization policy was meant to grab profit making companies & give them to his men.

hypocrites - 9 June 2014

The people that Mugabe says own land and therefore can not be classified as unemployed are the same people that are producing cotton which is bought by a few companies at unreasonably low prices, they are producing maize and yet the G.M.B has no money to purchase that grain. So how then is that person employed when they are not making a living. And why does it take a person to be declared a national hero to provide a platform for the President to announce government policies?

Dr Know - 9 June 2014

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