The ruling Zanu-PF party is now running its affairs as a modern professional political organisation, a senior official has said.
Zanu-PF national secretary for finance, Patrick Chinamasa said this during a business breakfast meeting which the the party’s department of Indigenization and Economic Empowerment on Thursday.
The meeting sought to discuss policies and strategies that might increase participation of locals in the economy.
“If you come to our headquarters, please come to “shake shake” building you will realise that the party is now running on a professional basis. We are not yet where we want to be but clearly we have started and we have regular meetings to chat the way forward,” said Chinamasa.
He told the meeting that a Zanu-PF provincial golf tournament was on the cards as part of the re-branding exercise.
The former Finance Minister said Zanu-PF was a people centered party and that had kept it in power for a long time.
“Zanu PF knows there is a lot of suffering. Some of the problems may not be solved over night but we craft policies and strategies to meet the needs in the long term,” he said.
Chinamasa said the party was responsible for shaping policies in the direction that met the needs of the people.
“We have policies that scale up local population participation in the economy. In most normal countries 80 to 90 percent of the economy should be in the hands of locals. It should be local owned,” he said.
He said Zimbabweans were the most empowered citizens as compared to their counterparts in the Southern African region.
“I had the privilege to travel across the region and discovered that Zimbabweans are the most empowered people in the region. Notwithstanding our problems, you are the most empowered people. You can talk of local involvement in the economy. This is not so in other countries,” he said.
Chinamasa said they visited the eastern border city to collect views of the local community regarding the indigenization and economic empowerment programme.
“We are here to listen to you, we are open for suggestions so that we craft policies that shape the future of this country. There are no views which are too little not to be taken aboard,” he said.
He added said empowerment should not benefit a few individuals but the majority of citizens.
“I do not believe in individuals who claim to have 51 percent in a platinum claim in favour of a foreign investor who has invested $2 billion. That is rent seeking behavior.
“I have no problem about empowering communities, employees, but its is important that as we go forward, let’s do things that help transfer managerial skills and capital from investors,” he said.
Addressing the same gathering, party secretary for indigenization and economic empowerment Mike Bimha said some people had expressed concern over allocation of reserved sectors such as hairdressing and retailing to foreign nationals by local authorities.
“In the Act, there is a provision for reserved sectors, like hair saloons, retail shops etc. These are reserved sectors for locals but some people are saying while the rule is there some of the local authorities are not complying,” he said.
“So you find a lot of foreigners in those sectors. The question is why do we come with legislation that we can’t enforce?”
“We heard about Community Share Ownership Trusts and there have been wrangles and issues arising from the Trusts but there have also been some success stories. The issue of Zimplats in Mhondoro has been a big success and there are also areas where it has failed.”
“What lessons have we drawn from areas that have succeeded and those that have failed?” queried Bimha.