Civil Society on Indigenisation

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By Patience Rusare

 

THE Civil Society is grappling for relevance following what has been termed as ‘failure to deliver’ in the recently held plebiscite where ZANU PF won with a landslide victory.

Presently business in the sector is at an all time low as donors withhold funds following the dismal failure in the regime change quest.

Since the inception of the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act, Western sponsored Non-Governmental Organisations have criticised the policy, describing it as a monster that scares away investors.

After the realisation that the Indigenisation Act had proved popular in the country if not the continent, NGOs have moved from the ‘monster chant’ to the legal clarity of the Act.

Addressing the civil society at the Zimbabwe Alternative Mining Indaba recently held in the capital, Research and Advocacy Unit representative Dereck Matyszak said the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act is legally slurred and lacks substance.

“The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act states that the Government shall, through this Act or regulations or other measures under this Act or any other law, endeavour to secure at least 51 percent of the shares of every public company and any other business shall be owned by indigenous Zimbabweans.

“If we critically analyse this we note that companies do not own shares and as such that statement should be directed to shareholders,” said Matyszak.

“From a legal perspective there is no law that requires the transfer of shares as the indigenisation law only states that there is need for mining companies to submit indigenisation implementation plans.”

Economic Analysts opine that such statements are misguided and are an attempt by NGOs to remain relevant and continue receiving donor funding.

The irked NGOs asserted that  indigenisation does not benefit the ordinary people but pursues the interests of a few individuals.

None of these assertions could be supported by evidence on the ground as in reality the indigenisation and economic empowerment thrust is proving to be a winning idea galvanising the whole nation.

The indigenisation and economic empowerment programme seeks to economically empower ordinary Zimbabweans through such mechanisms as community or employee share ownership schemes, guaranteeing beneficiaries at least 10 percent ownership in mining companies extracting Zimbabwe’s mineral resources.

Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association, programmes officer Shamiso Mtisi  said although communities are supposed to be the beneficiaries they did not know who constituted the trusts.

Zvishavane Community Share Ownership Scheme (ZCSOT) chairperson, Chief Mapanzure refuted such claims and informed the participants that Community Share Ownership Scheme projects are determined by the communities.

“The Zvishavane Community Share Ownership Scheme (ZCSOT) which was launched in 2011 received a seed fund of US$2 million from MIMOSA mine.”

“Most of the projects being implemented are based on what people wanted,” said Chief Mapanzure.

Chief Mapunzure said the trust had benefitted the community as it has built 13 blocks of school classrooms and a science block that are adequately furnished.

“So far the trust constructed a rural clinic, 6 staff houses for teachers and nurses, drilled 10 boreholes and erected 11km of electricity and obtained a UD Truck for the transportation of grain.

“There are still future projects in the pipeline.”

The parallel mining indaba was sponsored by the Norwegian Church Aid, Norwegian People’s Aid, Christian Aid, the Global Greengrants Fund, ActionAid, AFRODAD and the UNDP.

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