Thursday, October 4, 2007
7. INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT
7.1 As Monetary Authorities, we fully support the noble objective of empowering the majority of Zimbabweans through the introduction of enabling statutes that expand wider involvement of the people in the mainstream economy.
7.2 Noble as this objective is, however, our well considered advice to Legislators and Government in general is that a fine balance should be struck between the objectives of indigenization and the need to attract foreign investment.
7.3 Specifically, the local-foreign ownership thresholds must be taken and implemented as down the horizon targets, as opposed to excitable but impractical overnight conversion events.
7.4 Our view is that the above gradual approach promotes fair valuation, reasonable return of initial investment outlays by investors, as well as smooth transition from old to new shareholders.
7.5 Where foreign investors bring in clear long-term benefits to the country, a reasonable degree of flexibility ought to be exercised in allowing investors to hold, at least in the initial stages, majority shareholding so as to deliberately accord them escalated dividends that enable them to plough back their initial investment outlays.
7.6 Beyond pre-agreed time thresholds foreign shareholding can then be diluted on a gradual win-win basis, in line with the otherwise noble objectives of indigenization and empowerment.
7.7 As Monetary Authorities, we also call upon Government to ensure that the empowerment drive is not derailed by a few well connected cliques, some who are already making the most noise in ostensible support of this initiative, who would want to amass wealth to themselves in a starkly greedy but irresponsible manner, whilst the intended majority remain with nothing as happened in the past with respect to Government empowerment schemes such as the land reform programme.
7.8 In the world of finance, it is a recognised fact that CAPITAL is a timid commodity, which always stands ready to jump ship at the slight inclination of attack whether factual or perceived.
7.9 As they say, charity begins at home, we must, therefore, ensure that existing foreign capital in our economy acts as our ambassador for attraction of more investment inflows.
7.10 Of particular concern to us as Monetary Authorities would be any attempts to forcibly push the envelop of indigenisation into the delicate area of banking and finance.
7.11 To this end, we call upon those with interests in the financial sector to approach the Central Bank with their applications for new banking licenses.
7.12 These applications will however, be subjected to vigorous vetting, in line with the Reserve Bank’s normal pre-licensing scrutiny, as opposed to any inclination towards unstructured interventions into the shareholdings of the sector.
7.13 Generally, we believe that 27 years down the road, there should be no free lunches as such.
7.14 It is important to note that this comment comes against a background of reported incidences involving a number of senior and well-connected personalities who are already positioning themselves to muscle into certain mining, manufacturing, financial and other entities that are currently performing well and contributing to the foreign currency inflows of the country.
COMMENT: Dr Gono is not afraid to grab the bull by its horns. Since he took office, he has always been against economic looters. His only weakness is that he sometimes gets over excited and just dish out money, contributing to inflation. However, if he becomes Minister of Finance in a Makoni government, then hoooray! It will be party time! Makoni will be able to put checks and balances so that Gono does not step out of the line while Gono himself, as Finance Minister, will be able to unleash all his energy to propel Zimbabwe forward. Imagine a Makoni-Gono combination! I know some people would like to point fingers but most of the accusations are hearsay! On this blog, I will only deal with facts that we know. I have heard people say Gono is corrupt. Those are rumours and not facts. A country can not be run on rumours. What we all know as fact is that Gono has publicly condemned looting. His monetary policy statement quoted in this article is a clear example. We also know that the honourable Makoni has hit out at greedy looters. That is a fact. One need to ask themselves, if Gono is really corrupt, why is he not being exposed since he has created a lot of enemies by openly attacking a corrupt regime. The good Dr sometime pours out scorn with reckless abandon. Dzimwe nguva ndinotombomutyira.
Itayi Garande 04.OCT.07
IN one of the most direct attacks on the leadership of his own party, Simba Makoni speaking at a function in Zimbabwe's Manicaland province, has described Zanu PF leadership as lazy, greedy, corrupt and selfish.
The former finance minister who is expected to launch a hard fight, at the Zanu PF Congress in December, against Vice President Joice Mujuru and Rural Housing minister Emmerson Mnangagwa for the right to represent the ruling party at next year's presidential elections, also sparked outrage earlier this year from the conservative sections of the party when he openly spoke about the country's crisis, and criticizing government, basically firing a broadside at the leadership and making insinuations about reformation.
Speaking in Manicaland on Tuesday, Makoni described government's fast track land reform programme, which began in 2000, as a complete failure.
Makoni was invited to speak on behalf of Didymus Mutasa, the minister of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement and State Security, but requested to represent himself at the function, organised by the governor of Manicaland, Tinaye Chigudu.
The function was held at Chigudu's farm in Makoni District.
Mutasa did not make it to the function, which was attended by senior ruling party officials and traditional chief in the province because he was attending a funeral.
Before launching the blistering attack on the ruling party leadership and government, Makoni requested that he be allowed to speak in his own capacity rather than on behalf of Mutasa. Permission was granted.
"I am standing in front of you today as your guest of honour in my capacity as the only politburo member present," Makoni said, "as minister Mutasa could not make it here today. What I am about to say here is not what he would have said. These are my own words which must not be linked to him in any way.
He said the land reform programme had brought unnecessary suffering among the people.
"Why is it that after the country embarked on the land reform programme there has been starvation in the country? Let us not blame it on droughts but on our own greedy leadership."
"It is shameful for a country such as Zimbabwe to beg for food from countries like Malawi yet this is now happening."
Makoni said the political leadership in Zimbabwe wanted things to come their way on a silver plate. He said it was wrong for people to just grab farms and occupy farmhouses that they never built.
Makoni said such infrastructure did not just come from heaven like manna. Some people would have worked tirelessly to build such houses. But other Zimbabweans only wanted to get such huge investments for free. This met with a deafening silence.
He was addressing requests submitted to Chigudu by the chiefs that they also be allocated farms with mansions such as the one now owned by the Governor.
Makoni told the chiefs to work hard and build their own mansions at their own homesteads.
"If the government allocates you such mansions outside your jurisdictions, how then are you going to administer your areas," said Makoni.
He then attacked the Zanu PF leadership describing them as dictators and selfish individuals who only think about themselves first before they consider the welfare of others.
Makoni said good leaders were those who visited the people regularly and not only when elections were around the corner. He said good leaders consult the people and ask them what they want from the government and not the other way round.
"It shows that there is a problem when you see the people going to their leaders with their grievances," Makoni said. "Our problem in Zimbabwe is that our leaders take their people for granted. They think that they know their problems and prescribe their own solutions.
"Good leaders are expected to ask from the people what they want the government to do for them. The government should not tell the people what to do without consulting them as is happening in our country today. That is dictatorship."
Makoni described the Zanu PF leadership as lazy, greedy and corrupt.
On the issue of corruption in the country, Makoni said he did not blame it on ordinary citizens, saying it was being fuelled by the leadership. He said it was very difficult for a father to stop his child from doing bad things when the child was only copying what the father was doing.
"In short they say a fish rots from the head," he said.
During his hard hitting speech those in attendance maintained a fearful silence unlike when previous speakers took turns to shower praises on Mugabe and the land reform programme.
After giving his speech Makoni said he was happy Mutasa had failed to make it to the function as this had given him an opportunity to speak out on what he thought were problems affecting the country.
"I am happy for Minister Mutasa's failure to grace this important occasion with his presence because it gave me a rare opportunity to say what I feel about my country," he said.
Simba Makoni is regarded by some elements in Zanu PF and outside as the most serious challenger to President Mugabe's leadership. Elements in Zanu PF regard him with a mixture of respect and mistrust.
"He's very good, very committed to the party and the country," says former Information Minister, Chen Chimutengwende back in 2000. But when asked whether he is presidential material, Chimutengwende and other senior party figures refused to comment.
Critics suggest that he is one of the forerunners of the 'Third Way thinking' on Zimbabwe, and is considered by most outside Zanu PF as a 'progressive' the party. Others suggest that he has supported the Zanu PF government for the past 27 years and therefore would not be the best person to offer viable, and believable, alternatives to the Zimbabwe crisis with non-Zanu PF elements.
Whether Makoni is still regarded as presidential material, or is able to pave the way for a future 'transformed' Zanu PF government is yet to be seen.
Comment: Of course Dr. Makoni is the best presidential material so far. He far outshine the likes of Tsvangirai and AGO. Any Zimbabwean with the country at heart would choose Dr Makoni. This is not time for emotions. Let us stop using our hearts to make judgments, but out minds.
The Honorable Simba Makoni has over 20 years’ experience in business and general management, development policy formulation and strategic planning, international diplomacy, regional and international trade, and investment.
The former Minister of Finance and Economic Development for the government of Zimbabwe, Mr. Makoni is the Managing Director for Makonsult, a consulting practice focusing on policies and strategies that bear on business and politics in Eastern and Southern Africa. Among other services, Mr. Makoni offers his clients strategic analysis of the current investment factors affecting the potential for trade; political risk assessment; donor-funded project analysis and donor procedures; and partnership potential assessment.
Mr. Makoni has been involved in the development of public policies regarding trade, economic development and communications for the Southern African region in many capacities, beginning as a member of the Parliament of Zimbabwe. He has served as the Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture; the Minister of Industry and Energy Development; Minister of Agriculture; and the Executive Secretary of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).
Mr. Makoni has a BSc (Hons) from Leeds University, UK in Chemistry and Zoology and a PhD, Medicinal Chemistry from Leicester Polytechnic, UK.