By Mhlomuli Ncube
The countryâ€™s independence was celebrated for ushering in a new era of political freedom. The newly-liberated blacks could finally wake up to the fact that their political destiny was now safely in their hands. To many Zimbabweans, the dream was one that they could now fully comprehend in the realities of selfless sacrifices offered during Zimbabweâ€™s struggle for independence.
Caught up even in painful compromises all for the sake of a new Zimbabwe, the people of this land had to put up with an imposed Lancaster House constitution – a document that has haunted Zimbabweans to the present.
With all political issues way under spotlight, the tide obviously has had to shift from the political landscape to the economic arena. The indigenisation drive has been hailed by all visionaries as the icing on the independence cake. I say â€˜visionariesâ€™ because there are several dissenting voices that have chosen to view the policy will all negativity.
Visionaries understand that indigenisation is purely a Zimbabwean fight meant to uplift Zimbabweans from the long and deeply entrenched marginalisation to allowing them full participation in their countryâ€™s economy.
The indigenisation stance adopted by the current government should therefore be appreciated in the context of national interests and the fact that it is a move to address past injustices. Yes, it was great that we moved a reconciliation policy within the political spectrum at Zimbabweâ€™s independence, but there was need to move further to economic reconciliation.
The response that has seen the country reeling under illegal economic sanctions in a purely bilateral matter between Zimbabwe and Britain is one sure indicator that the past status quo had no worries in ceding all political power to the new Zimbabwe government. However, the moment such power encroached onto the economy, the guardians and vanguards of the previous status quo felt the pinch. It is a pinch felt not only by the local previously advantaged minority, but also by those beyond Africaâ€™s borders.
Indigenising our economy is a long overdue process. Given the magnitude of opposition that we have had to endure solely for moving to involve more indigenous Zimbabweans in the countryâ€™s means of production, the writing is on the wall that for the first time after gaining political independence, we were addressing a truly important matter that the previous and erstwhile colonial master would have worked to ensure we never succeeded.
Indigenisation is total control of the countryâ€™s wealth by the countryâ€™s citizens constituted by Zimbabweâ€™s black majority. Why should somebody sulk at such a move, unless they do not believe that millions of Zimbabweans who have long drooled at their own wealth being exploited while they watch from a distance do not deserve to eat the best from their own land? Whoever is cross with the move should not purport to be speaking on behalf of all Zimbabweans.
As far as the new political dispensation brought about by the sacrifice of millions of Zimbabweans continues to be consolidated, its partner who will satisfy the people of this land that indeed they have reached out to the promise, is none other than the landâ€™s economy.
Who needs political mileage when it is not complemented by a full tummy? Countless lies have been told that taking hold of the countryâ€™s economy needs to be conducted in an orderly fashion. Who defines for Zimbabweans what is orderly and what is not? After all, Zimbabwe and its resources has been exploited by a few individuals for years, and that small cluster of individuals still does not want to cede any economic space to allow the real owners of Zimbabwe a stake of the cake which is rightfully theirs.
We are past dealing with the ironies of how a giant exporter of platinum, diamonds, gold and all the countless resources continues to battle to fix potholes on its roads. Surely a country endowed with such vast and valuable natural resources cannot fail to service its debts to a point where debates have to centre on whether we should be considered one of the worldâ€™s highly indebted countries?
The campaign to paint the countryâ€™s indigenisation police in bad light will definitely not see the light of day. It is now clear that the control of Zimbabweâ€™s resources and economy by its own people is the death warrant to all previous manipulations.
Indigenisation sends a very loud message that says â€˜NOâ€™ to the manipulation and exploitation of Zimbabwe, its people and its resources. And to the Zimbabwean people, the Promised Land beckons mow more that ever!