Tuesday, May 21, 2013

(NEWZIMBABE) Tsvangirai vows to reverse indigenisation
19/05/2013 00:00:00
by Agencies

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai wrapped up his party's post-election plan meeting Sunday vowing to overturn President Robert Mugabe's indigenisation drive if he wins upcoming general elections.

He wound up the meeting with a rally attended by thousands of supporters of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) at a sports ground in Harare's Highfield suburb.

"We will reverse indigenisation laws and create empowerment laws for the majority of the people of Zimbabwe," said Tsvangirai.

"We cannot all share a small cake. We can't share the existing wealth so we will have to create a bigger cake."

Mugabe introduced the indigenisation law in 2010 which forces foreign-owned companies - including mines, banks and retailers - to cede 51 percent ownership to black Zimbabwean investors.
The Zanu PF leader has threatened to take over firms that fail to comply.

Tsvangirai is uneasy with the law which he says has driven away desperately needed foreign investment just as the country is recovering from a decade-long economic collapse.

He bemoaned "lack of transparency in the distribution of wealth in Zimbabwe".

"Every Zimbabwean must be able to point out that they benefitted under this or that programme," he said.

The MDC-T leader also said his party will end years of bias and abuse by the police, military and intelligence services and will make sure the services uphold the country’s new constitution which demands impartiality in their duties.

An MDC-T government would also manage the police and military so that Zimbabweans “will not fear their soldiers and policemen” any longer.

Tsvangirai said thousands of political activists have been victims of police brutality since 1999 when he formed the trade union-based party, the first real challenge to Mugabe’s Zanu PF party since independence from colonial-era rule in 1980.

“We will need justice in this country as well as national healing,” he said.

Tsvangirai showed supporters a 247-page document outlining his party’s plans for governing the country if it wins the upcoming polls.

The report calls for cuts in spending on the armed forces, saying that current payments are excessive considering Zimbabwe is at peace and faces no military threats.

“The goal of security under Zanu PF was to perpetuate their rule against domestic resistance ... and seek to undermine the freedom of political choice,” the report states.

It proposes the formation of a new Defense Service Commission to monitor the promotion of senior officers and stress what it calls “the primacy of civilian rule.”

The report makes no mention of firing military and intelligence commanders who have repeatedly vowed allegiance to Mugabe and have refused to salute Tsvangirai since he became prime minister in the coalition agreement brokered by regional leaders in 2009.

Tsvangirai said that if his party wins the elections “there will be no retribution, those who committed crimes must tell the truth and the truth will set them free.”

The rally marked the end of a conference by MDC officials which unveiled an outline of its programme and projects if it wins elections.

Zimbabwe will hold elections later this year to choose a successor to the shaky power-sharing government formed four years ago by Tsvangirai and Mugabe.

No election date has been set yet, but Mugabe, who is 89, is pressing for them to go ahead as soon as possible.

Tsvangirai, who is confident of winning the vote, said elections would be held before October 30.

"There are things that need to be done...reforms we need to have before elections," he said.

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