Tuesday, January 01, 2013

(HERALD ZW) Juice: A non-progressive, neo-colonial policy

COMMENT - The MDC is clinging on to neoliberal economics, not because they work, but because they are there to do the bidding of Anglo-American De Beers, in which they are supported by the IMF and World Bank. The IMF and World Bank have never developed a country in their entire existence. If you want to read further literature on their policies, read: Bad Samaritans, by Cambridge economics professor Ha-Joon Chang. His native South Korea developed through protectionism and manufacturing - not foreign ownership or foreign investment. Unlike South Korea, Zimbabwe has vast mineral and land resources, so they need to rely less on manufacturing, but the principle is the same.

Juice: A non-progressive, neo-colonial policy
Tuesday, 18 December 2012 00:00

REAL EMPOWERMENT . . . President Mugabe (right) is shown the community share certificates and US$5million cheque by Youth and Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Chief Mathema (right) in Gwanda in May this year
Panganai Kahuni

Zimbabwe, like the rest Africa, has continued to be a labour market for the developed world. The developed world, mainly dominated by Europe and USA, has managed to actively go through their industrial revolutions by ensuring that they establish industries owned by their indigenous people, who later partnered with other business owners from other countries.

This is a strategy that has seen them generating massive capital and industrial growth. China too, first established indigenous corporates which went on to partner other foreign investors who came into China to establish businesses. The later was required to do business in accordance with Chinese terms and laws.

Both China and the other Asian tigers emphasised on home ownership of businesses which allowed either upstream or downstream establishment of developing small and large corporates. This was made possible because indigenous business owners do not repatriate capital outside their home countries but rather, use it for further internal developments.

No nation state develops from industries that are wholly foreign-owned. The reason why the illegal sanctions are working in Zimbabwe is that most of our industries are foreign-owned, thus, are closing on the instructions of their home countries.

The Chief executives of these industries that are closing have little room to craft sanction-bursting strategies as was the case in Rhodesia.

The Rhodesia’s never die syndrome is badly entrenched in the MDC-T, as evidenced by the crafting of their economic blueprint code-named Juice, which only allows black Zimbabweans to be employees. Juice does not seek to create home-grown industries. It does not also allow black Zimbabweans to partner those foreign corporates already established in business in Zimbabwe and neither does it have the slightest philosophy of creating home grown industries.

Juice stands for “Jobs, Upliftment, Investment Capital and Environment”. When one reads these words that form the acronym Juice, one finds many questions begging honest answers. Many of them seem ambiguous in meaning when one critically analyses them in comparison with Zanu-PF’s 13th Annual National People’s Conference theme, “Indigenise, Develop, Empower and Create Employment”.

In this article, this writer is going to unpack the two themes; one from Zanu-PF, which I strongly and humbly believe is not confusing and will make Zimbabwe develop, and the other from MDC-T, which I feel has a clear neo-colonial and servitude agenda.

Let me start by looking at jobs which is from MDC-T and indigenisation which is from Zanu-PF. The questions on jobs are: How sustainable is the idea of creating 200 000 jobs per year? Where has it been successfully implemented? How will foreign direct investment create meaningful jobs for Zimbabweans and pay them handsomely if, from colonial times to date, civil servants have nothing to write home about?

FDI will obviously come from Europe and America whose corporates, for example in South Africa (Marikana) and Zimbabwe (Zimplats), are failing to pay workers satisfactorily. These questions, and there may be more questions from you fellow citizens, need humble answers before you embrace Juice.

Indigenisation is a word that comes first on Zanu-PF’s theme as is MDC-T’s “jobs”. The questions are:

* Why indigenising now?

* How do you indigenise?

* Where has it been implemented successfully?

* Is it the way to grow our national economy?

These questions, dear reader, can easily find answers in the inclusive Government. The MDC-T itself has accepted the indigenisation policy and DPM Mutambara has, on many occasions, said Zimbabweans are sick and tired of being underpaid employees. The traits of success are already on the ground through, for example, the Community Share Ownership Trusts, unlike jobs that are on a daily basis being lost and are sometimes lost due to the illegal economic sanctions that the MDC-T called for.

In fact they have no jobs that they have evidently created in their lifetime in the inclusive Government.

The second words are upliftment (MDC-T) and develop (Zanu-PF). What the MDC-T is proposing by “upliftment” is that the jobs, which they have no control over like illegal sanctions they call for, will uplift the standards of living for people.

However, the question is; if the current jobs, both in public and private corporate, have failed to uplift the workers how then are the perceived new jobs going to uplift Zimbabweans? Zanu-PF is saying; we develop new industries from proceeds borne out of the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act which the MDC-T is signatory to. These industries will either be wholly owned by Zimbabweans or the majority shareholders will also be Zimbabweans. To me this sounds like a real developmental policy which everyone must embrace as has happened in China. Food for thought!

The third words are “invest” (MDC-T) and empowerment (Zanu-PF). If I may ask who is investing? Are they not the very same people who control the current investments which they are now allowing to fold?

What new better investment are they going to bring for Zimbabweans to inherit? While investment is needed, it must not necessarily make owners of the land automatically qualify to be viewed as slaves.

If investments are aimed at enslaving some people by perpetually making them labourers, as is the case in Africa and Zimbabwe today, then honestly they do not qualify to be called “investments”.
When a country indigenises and develops, naturally, it creates indigenous capital which then is used to empower people across all social stratus.

They inherit jobs, better recreational facilities, quality health care, among other factors. Empowering your people is by way of allowing individual ownership of natural resources and government creating investment opportunities for the local business people to invest in other countries. Beneficiation is also empowering within where you find upliftment and jobs.

In my analysis I will put “capital” (MDC-T) as a word to be clinically dissected alongside empowerment (Zanu-PF). In short Frantz Fanon posits that “a country born out of the liberation should never replicate the coloniser. It should endeavour to create its own capital so as to empower its people in the long run.”

I agree with Fanon handsomely for if a country indigenises, and then develops it will generate locally controlled capital, as was the case in Libya and is the case in China, Cuba, Algeria and recently Angola, just to mention a few. Zimbabweans should read Frantz Fanon’s book “The Wretched of the Earth” and you will get schooled on how to create your own capital and not through Juice.

The last words in my humble analysis are “environment” (MDC-T) and “create employment” (Zanu-PF).

When you read Juice and then think about “environment” one would wonder which environment these pseudo democrats are talking about.
Is it political, social, economic, cultural or what?

Naturally investors want an environment which is peaceful and stable, which is what Zimbabwe naturally is. Perhaps they mean an environment that allows foreign companies not to indigenise.
It is obvious that no sane Zimbabwean would allow foreign companies to continuously enslave our people.

So the choice is yours fellow citizens, to vote for a party that creates an environment for investors to parasitically use your labour or not.

I deliberately refer to the Zanu-PF’s theme as IDEC (Indigenise, Develop, Empower, and Create Employment). This was to come up with my own acronym IDEC. The actual Zanu-PF theme is Indigenise, Empower, Develop, and Create Employment.

However, IDEC was for my analysis which brings me to creating of employment. Whichever way you look at Zanu-PF’s theme, it demonstrates a revolutionary process of economic development.
For a nation to have sustainable growth, it starts with political independence which we got in 1980.

What is needed now is the process of indigenisation, then empowerment, then developing, and finally creating employment. Zanu-PF’s theme (IDEC) is historical, current, futuristic, and inheritable, while MDC-T’s Juice is neither current nor futuristic because there is nothing in it for Zimbabweans.
Zanu-PF’s theme has positive records worldwide as mentioned above while MDC-T’s theme is a trial and error which is most likely to fail.

Thus Zimbabweans, think deep and broad before you embrace Juice, otherwise IDEC is your life.

Panganai Kahuni is a political, socio-economic commentator.

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