Monday, 26 April 2010
Land distribution, economic empowerment : Zimbabwe's only way forward - Lloyd Msipa
I read Senator Gutu's note on empowerment and land redistribution published elsewhere.In his opening paragraph he states that "A people who do not own and control their natural resources and thus control their means of production is an oppressed people"....I could not agree with him more. Zimbabweans have to own and control their resources, the exploitation of the same and the marketing thereof....
He however proceeds to state that "the government of Zimbabwe should be thoroughly ashamed of the fact that three decades after independence the country still has not crafted a holistic, progressive and definitive policy to empower previously disadvantaged people, the majority of whom happen to be blacks and other non-Caucasian people such as Indians, Greeks and people of mixed blood. One wonders what the government was doing all these years by failing to formulate a policy that should have been amongst the top agenda items upon achieving our independence in 1980".
Considering that the honourable Senator has now been part of that government that he so vehemently castigates for a little over a year now, there is little or no evidence of any changes he and his colleagues have introduced as policy makers to better the lives of the same poor Zimbabwean people that he seeks to speak on behalf of. To the contrary we have witnessed his colleagues from his political party been caught up in all soughts of scandals ranging from corruption at government and local government level over the allocation of stands, luxury vehicles to outright theft ....Can the honourable Senator then have the tenacity to point at the speck in the eye of others whislt conveniently ignoring the log in his own.
The land acquisition exercise however imperfect was a necessary step in redressing the imbalances that existed and mind you still exist in the distribution of wealth in Zimbabwe.If i may remind the honourable Senator that when the colonisers came to Zimbabwe and drove indigenous Zimbabweans into TTL'S (Tribal Trust Lands) in their millions, no law was adhered to.They did not gently coax the indigenous zimbabweans to move. There was resistance, blood was shed, there were violations of human rights culminating in the hanging of the leaders of that particular resistance in the name of sekuru Kaguvi, Mbuya Nehanda and others.So, i pause a question to the honourable Senator: Can we expect the reversal of this cruel exercise to be peaceful......lets get real.
The Zimbabwe government has been according to my opinion been more humane than the colonisers in the land acquisition exercise. The courts have been made available to those who felt their case needed adjudication....and as usually the former land owners decided to use our own institutions against us.There are indigenous Zimbabwean farmers who have been given offer letters for farms but have failed to occupy them because the former white farmers have either refused to vacate those farms or have filed one appeal after another in our judicial institutions and the SADC Tribunal in Namibia....This has resulted in farms lying derelict for many years....which according to you ...are called unproductive.
This scenario has duplicated itself at Chiadzwa mine and other mines.Andrew Cranswick, CEO of ACR the purported owner of the said mine is on record of having said of Chiadzwa mine "We were lobbying government and offering a joint venture because it is an extraordinary deposit, a bit like the Botswana deposit and we felt it fair to share it with the local community and the country at large"....What community?.As a member of the senate iam sure you are privy to some of the information on the issues that are really taking place at this mine.The government does not have total control of this mine.The Chiadzwa case is still in the courts as i write, hence the government has not been able to fully exploit this resource. The only way the government has tried to make this national resource revert back to the people of Zimbabwe has been through the cancellation of the licence granted to ACR. Iam sure you are aware litigation is currently taking place as to the legality of the cancellation of this licence by government.
In other words, the so called "whites" you so much sympathises with are fighting you the government of Zimbabwe with all they have including the media.If you the honourable Senator, one who is bound by the principle of collective responsibility to tow the government line, you publicy violate this principle, we hold very little hope for winning this battle against subjugation and poverty.
Since the signing of the GNU agreement, it is agreed in the provisions of the government of national unity agreement (Article iv, section 4, under sanctions and measures that you as a party have agreed to recognise the sanctions on the country of Zimbabwe, call for the removal thereof...In fact your colleagues in the MDC have been in the forefront calling for these sanctions to be removed as they are affecting the poor people of Zimbabwe. The very same people you pity as living on 2 dollars a day.What i can not understand is how you can violate principles you have signed up to respect and then turn around and accuse others of breaking the law.
As a lawyer iam sure you are familiar with the provisions in the empowerment regulations.I do not see what the holla ballo is over the 51 percent requirement on investing in Zimbabwe. It is not like Zimbabwe is the first to inact such a regulation. If you have ever tried to start a business in Botswana iam sure you will be suprised that they have the same regulation in place. Then why the noise .....read between the lines Honourable Senator Gutu. Our problem is that we are trying to take over the control of our resources. The same problems that make places like Iraq and Afghanstan permanent war zones is the same problem Zimbabwe is going through.This argument of equitable distribution of resources amongst Zimbabweans, the poor etc etc ..that you labor so much is now over cooked.Nobody said that if we take back our resources we seize to became a class society. The truth is as the bible says is that "we shall always have the poor amongst us (Mark 14 :7. So lets get real and call a spade a spade and join hands as Zimbabweans and pull in the same direction