January 17, 2014 Wenceslaus Murape Headlines, Top Stories
COMMENT - John Robertson (and Eric Bloch) are rhodesians well past their sell by date, who think that neoliberalism is their ticket back into power. And like neoliberals, they provide no historical evidence for their claims - they are all (self serving) theory, all the time. Why would anyone take 'good advice' from their enemies? - MrK
FINANCE Minister Patrick Chinamasa on Wednesday lashed out at critics who are quick to condemn the country’s property rights, saying Government — through land reform — had corrected this anomaly by taking back land. Minister Chinamasa was reacting to remarks made by economist Dr John Robertson who tried to link economic decline to the land reform of the early 2000s.
Dr Robertson, in his presentation at the Mandel-Gibbs Economic Symposium, said Government erred in embarking on the land reform programme and adopting indigenisation policies because these had destroyed property rights.
He said land reform resulted in the loss of 450 000 jobs since 1998 as opposed to 800 000 that he claimed would have been created since then if the policy had not been adopted.
How about the loss of jobs from 1991 to 1996, when his neoliberal policies were applied as ESAP? Somehow, John Robertson, 'the economist' conveniently forgot about that. Google: tragic imf zimbabwe juhasz. - MrK
“At the same time Foreign Direct Investment levels slipped just after Government began to make threats using its indigenisation law. A lot of people who can create and innovate for growth have gone away.
“Government needs to re-affirm and recognise property rights if we are to register any kind of growth,” he said.
Dr Robertson, whose commentary is almost always centred on emotive reactions to land reform and indigenisation, suggested that there was need to reverse these policies.
However, Minister Chinamasa said Government had actually addressed the matter of property rights by embarking on land re-distribution.
“The only issue we are dealing with at the moment is on the tradable rights but we are working on that,” he said in apparent reference to the need to make offer letters and leases bankable.
He said it was disheartening that Dr Roberston referred to a historical trend that had disenfranchised locals as a good reference point.
“It had to take an armed struggle for the people of this country to correct inequalities brought about by colonisers who disregarded property rights.
“It’s clear who does not respect property rights as the majority of the people were excluded from owning their heritage,” said Minister Chinamasa.
He said Dr Robertson chose the wrong platform to give an incorrect history lecture. Minister Chinamasa said through the indigenisation law, Government had set the foundation for economic recovery as ordinary people now in controlled their resources and were economically empowered.