News

Zimbabwe's Indigenization-themed Festivities Irk MDC

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, left, and President Robert Mugabe, Harare, November 11, 2011.
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, left, and President Robert Mugabe, Harare, November 11, 2011.

Zimbabwe celebrates 32 years of independence from Great Britain this Wednesday, but already the mood surrounding planned festivities appears tainted by disagreements within the country’s coalition government.

The official theme of this week's festivities -- "Indigenization and Empowerment for Social and Economic Transformation" -- references to the Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Bill, a measure President Robert Mugabe signed into law in 2008, which forces foreign-owned companies in Zimbabwe to grant 51 percent of shares to locals.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Mugabe's ZANU-PF party imposed the theme without consensus.

Tsvangirai, whose MDC party strongly opposes indigenization on the grounds that it disincentivizes foreign investments, said he will nevertheless attend stadium celebrations in Harare that Mugabe is scheduled to address.

"I am sure the people -- I know people do not subscribe to this nonsense -- will react accordingly," he said, seeming to suggest crowds of Zimbabweans will jeer if Mugabe touts the measure.

As the country prepares for prospective elections -- possibly happening later this year or next -- he said an appropriate theme to celebrate independence should have something to do with peace.

"Today, even in the work of inclusive of government, policy and ideological discourse have meant a betrayal of people’s aspirations," he said, explaining that Zimbabweans remain split after enduring the violence of 2008 elections. "We have disagreed in this government because there are others who want to perpetuate the old culture of looting and self-aggrandizement clad in the misleading name of indigenization. It is such wild political jingoism which stands in the way of investment promotion for the people."

Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who is responsible for implementing the policy, has repeatedly said the law is meant to reverse imbalances left over from British colonial rule, and that the ZANU-PF won't reverse its decision.

"Why should the people of this country suffer when we have resources? We have a country with money; we have a country with resources; we are only seeking friends, partnerships where we share [resources] equally," he said. "We come from the history of colonialism, [and] we have to deal with issues of colonial challenges that have been left upon us."

But Tsvangirai has said policies such as indigenization conflict with the need for Zimbabweans to show respect for human rights, jobs, unity and prosperity.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs