Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

Eric Bloch: Indigenisation: Setting the record straight

Eric Bloch: Indigenisation: Setting the record straight

Thursday, 14 April 2011 20:48

By Eric Bloch

UPON reading Psychology Maziwisa’s reply in last week’s issue of this paper 
to my recent articles on Zimbabwe’s indigenisation and economic laws, my 
initial reaction was to ignore it and thus accord it the contempt that it 
blatantly deserved.  That is not to say that Maziwisa is not entitled to his 
opinion (even when he is wrong!), but that entitlement does not include a 
right to misinterpret, misrepresent and insult without foundation.
However, despite the deserved scorn that should be accorded Maziwisa’s 
response that was the immediate sense imbued by his diatribe, this columnist 
has since received many calls and e-mails to place on record the many 
falsehoods that constitute the Maziwisa tirade, hence this response.

First, Maziwisa’s contention that my expressed views are “a campaign to 
champion the selfish desires of the privileged few over the real and urgent 
needs of the common man” is devoid of foundation. For 53 years, since 1958, 
I have vigorously advocated the need for, and the importance of, Zimbabwean 
indigenisation and economic empowerment.  However, it always has been, and 
remains, my conviction that achieving that must be pursued in a manner 

Economically empowers the majority of the populace, instead of only the 
favoured, politically-connected few, and thereby ensures economic wellbeing 
for the masses and not the oligarchy. Indigenisation and economic 
empowerment must be the vehicle of improving the wellbeing and lot of an 
overwhelming majority of Zimbabweans;

Stimulates and grows the Zimbabwean economy, instead of subjecting it to 
even greater emaciation and contraction than is already the case;

Is pursued in a just and equitable manner which has unequivocal, 
absolute respect for human and property rights and which accords with 
international laws and norms, and with the Zimbabwean constitution and laws.

Maziwisa demands that this columnist should “condemn the police and the 
government for pouncing on the poor and the vulnerable … (and to) denounce 
the municipal police for dispossessing black impoverished vendors”.

He is clearly imbued with selective hearing and reading, for this column has 
often done so, such as after government’s appalling and horrendous Operation 
Murambatsvina, and after many other such instances.  On the one hand the 
poor and the vulnerable must keep, comply and conform to Zimbabwe’s laws, 
but on the other hand the authorities must apply those laws with compassion, 
understanding, and without unjustified harshness, cruelty and destruction of 

On specifics, Maziwisa’s contends that “government’s plan to enjoy 51% 
control of all mining activities currently in the hands of foreign companies 
is a step in the right direction”, and that “a share of 49% anywhere is a 
hell of a lot”.

The hard fact, the world over, is that holders of 49% of the shares in any 
enterprise are totally subordinated to the whims and determinations of the 
holders of the other 51%.

That investors should fund 100% of the capital, the technology and expertise 
in the development of the mines, and having sustained all the start-up risks 
and costs be reduced to minority status without say or ability to protect 
that which they have invested in is extremely unjust and unrealistic. 
Government refers repeatedly to partnership between the existing mine owners 
and the intended indigenous ownership, but a 51%-49% relationship is not 
partnership; it is subordination and subjugation!

Maziwisa then virtually implies that there is legitimacy to theft, if it is 
perpetrated by government.  He states that “debate about what constitutes 
fair compensation” is a joke, and “this is no time for jokes”.  He continues 
by contending, “Suffice it to say if anyone receives a cent as reparation, 
Harare would have demonstrated a show of considerable magnanimity!”

How can any government of integrity conceivably justify expropriating 
assets, developed by the investment of billions of dollars, without fair and 
equitable compensation? How can any government, other than one devoid of 
good character and probity even contemplate doing so?  Admittedly, Zimbabwe’s 
government seeks to justify such action by contending that more than fair 
compensation has been given by virtue of the existing investors having had 
recourse to Zimbabwe’s mineral wealth.

In pursuing that specious contention, government conveniently and studiously 
disregards the fact that the mines not only sustained very considerable cost 
in accessing the minerals but, in addition, have paid considerably for the 
extracted minerals by way of prescribed royalties, licence fees and 
taxation. In addition, the nation and the fiscus have benefited markedly 
from the substantial downstream economic activity generated by the operation 
of the mines.

Maziwisa compounds his devious and misrepresentative attack on this 
columnist by repudiating the contention “that foreign investors will feel 
inhibited by the empowerment law”, and by alleging that that contention “is 
as mendacious as it is deceitful.  None of the foreign investors in this 
country has expressed an intention to pack his bags and leave the Zimbabwean 
treasure behind.”

However, I never ever suggested that existing investors have voiced intent 
to withdraw.  What was stated, and is now categorically reiterated, is that 
potential foreign investors who were contemplating investment in Zimbabwe, 
be it in mining or in any other economic sector, have been almost wholly 
deterred from pursuing the possibility of such investment.

They have, progressively since February last year, and especially so in the 
last few weeks, become more and more convinced that such investment would be 
parlous, with the threats of expropriation looming ever greater and possible 
compensation for expropriation being minimal.

Maziwisa concludes by suggesting that this columnist “is promoting a 
peculiarly nasty agenda”.  My agenda is, first and foremost, to do 
whatsoever possible to promote constructive programmes to alleviate the 
intense poverty, misery, suffering and distress of most Zimbabweans.

Moreover, for over half a century I have argued that for that agenda to be 
achieved, an indisputable requirement is wide-ranging, meaningful, and just 
indigenisation and economic empowerment.

Maziwisa’s contrary intentions as to my agenda prove that although his first 
name is Psychology, he is in critical need of a psychologist!


Govt amends Indigenisation Act

Govt amends Indigenisation Act | The Chronicle   Minister Patrick Chinamasa Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business ReporterGOVERNMENT has amended the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act in line

Read More »

Govt, BAT in agric empowerment drive

Govt, BAT in agric empowerment drive February 9, 2017 Features, Opinion & Analysis Sydney Kawadza Senior Features WriterIn 1995, Laxer Matemayi completed her Ordinary Level education

Read More »

Joint Venture Act gazetted

Joint Venture Act gazetted June 1, 2016 Business Martin Kadzere : Senior Business Reporter THE Joint Venture Act, expected to promote major investment across economic sectors, came

Read More »

New Posts: