Friday, March 30, 2012
Friday, 30 March 2012 00:00
PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said Government’s empowerment drive was a noble programme meant to bring blacks into the mainstream economy following decades of marginalisation.
Mr Tsvangirai said this during the PM’s question time in Senate yesterday. Blacks, he said, have for long been regarded as workers with the country’s resources under the control of the white minority.
“The indigenisation policy was put in place for Zimbabweans to be able to participate in businesses because for many years businesses were owned by whites and blacks were just workers,” he said.
“The indigenisation policy is meant for people to be free because if you do not own means of production you remain workers.”
PM Tsvangirai said financial institutions should also be involved in the programme by lending money to indigenous people so that they can buy shares in companies.
He said it was, however, important that the programme benefit the majority of people and not a privileged few.
“In terms of the principle the programme should be broad based empowerment of Zimbabweans, we do not want it to benefit a few but all our people,” he said.
PM Tsvangirai reiterated that the EU should have removed in totality all the sanctions imposed on the country saying their actions to remove some individuals from the list was divisive.
He also said Government had established a taskforce to come up with long-term drought mitigation strategies to avert hunger especially in arid regions in the country.
“On the long term the Minister of Agriculture (Dr Joseph Made) has been tasked to come up with a three-to five-year-plan on agriculture. It is a major policy thrust we have to put in response to climate change,” he said.
The premier said Government had over the past three years provided US$2 billion in support to agriculture.
He, however, said there was need to provide security of tenure if financial institutions were to be involved in funding agriculture.
He blasted corruption at the Grain Marketing Board saying it affects its capacity to pay farmers on time. On the water supply situation in Harare and its dormitory towns, he said a water summit will be held today to come up with long term solutions to the problem.
“It is expected that another US$50 million would have to be put to deal water issues in Harare.
“We hope after the summit we will tell the nation what we are going to do to deal with water supply situation in Harare and other cities like Chitungwiza and Ruwa,” he said.
PM Tsvangirai said old infrastructure was also contributing immensely to water shortages in Harare with the capital losing at least 60 percent of treated water to leakages.
He said Government was also looking at the performance of parastatals to ensure that they contribute meaningfully to the country’s development.
He said some will be privatised and others commercialised.
The PM bemoaned the poor state of the country’s road network saying lack of funding was hampering the dualisation of the major highways to cope with the increase in traffic volumes.