The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Reporter
THE ruling party Zanu-PF has started a wave of countrywide meetings with businesspeople to educate them on the revised Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment policy, with the party leadership yesterday holding a business forum in Bulawayo.
The revised policy has already been incorporated into the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) and is expected to benefit both the public and private sector in building the economy.
The need for a revised policy came into effect after it had come to the party’s attention that the amendment to the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act (Chapter 14:33) (IEE Act) contained in the Finance (No 2) Act, 2020 (section 36) may have caused some misconception to the general public, stakeholders and investors in different economic sectors.
Yesterday’s meeting was held in conjunction with the Affirmative Action Group (AAG). In an interview on the sidelines of the forum, Zanu-PF Secretary for Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Dr Mike Bimha said due to many changes, politically, economic and socially, government found it necessary to revise the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Policy.
“The coming in of the new dispensation, with its thrust on economic development and the mantra that Zimbabwe is open for business, the Vision 2030, the issue of devolution and the amendment of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act all gave birth to the need to the policy.
“There was also a misconception by the public that with the doing away of the 51:49 threshold the party and Government had runaway from its economic empowerment thrust. People now thought the Government and party were no longer interested in economic empowerment but were more inclined to attracting investors only,” said Dr Bimha.
He said the party wanted to also assure the public that the party and Government are still very much committed to empowering its people but this had to be done by facing the reality of the day. AAG executive member responsible for communication and advocacy, Mr Ari Goldenstein said the main thrust of the gathering was to ensure that everybody was in a position to participate fully in the economic emancipation thrust by the Government and help achieve Vision 2030.
“The AAG has not changed its core business as a protecting, defending and agitating forum but right now we are moving together with Government policies, that is NDS1 and the Vision 2030, where the issue is that most of our youths, women and the general public, they have not yet seen the full benefits of empowerment. It is therefore important for us to come and conscientise and advocate for people with ideas so that they get what it is to be Zimbabwe in 2030.
The reason we are in Bulawayo is we all know the problem of deindustrialisation in the city, therefore we want our youths in Bulawayo to participate fully in the economic emancipation of every sector so that they get what they deserve and desire,” he said.