Friday, July 29, 2011

Independence not supported economically is meaningless


Political independence is meaningless without indeginisation of the economy, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Youth Development, Indeginisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere made the remarks while addressing nearly 1 000 people — among them businessmen, chiefs and legislators — on Government’s indeginisation drive in Marondera on Wednesday.

“We appreciate that the land question has been addressed, but it is not enough without talking about economic empowerment for black people,” said Minister Kasukuwere.
“The whites had the objective of controlling our resources, including mineral wealth as expounded by the Rudd Concession, and they gave this control to their trusted lieutenants.”
This, the minister said, was designed to benefit a few individuals at the expense of the majority. He reiterated that democratisation of the economy was neither political nor racist but was simply meant to ensure the black majority controlled their resources.

“The legislative framework of indeginisation was debated at length in Parliament and legislators finally agreed that the President signs it into law.
“It was with consensus that we agreed to the inclusion of the majority of people in the day-to-day running of the economy, with foreign investment coming in after our empowerment,” said Minister Kasukuwere.
He cited the example of black granite, which is mined in Mutoko but is exported without the local community benefiting.

“What’s there to show we’re principals of our country when not even a single house in Mutoko has been built using granite?

“Our wealth is our natural right, hence all companies with a capital base of more than US$500 000 should have an indigenous ownership of 51 percent,” he said.
The minister pointed out that Marondera did not have many companies with the required capital base hence the aim was resuscitation of defunct entities like the Cold Storage Company.
Chairman of the National Indeginisation and Economic Empowerment Board, Mr David Chapfika, told delegates that they wanted accelerated rural development.

“We were allocated US$5 million from the budget this year, while we’ll borrow capital from markets, collect levies from companies and also contributions from individuals for implementing the empowerment programme,” said Mr Chapfika.

Scores of people were turned away as the venue proved too small for the large turn-out from across the whole of Mashonaland East Province.