Patrick Zhuwawo should be brought to order

Obert Gutu - National Spokesperson

The MDC would like to register its extreme displeasure and disappointment with the recent statement attributed to Patrick Zhuwawo, the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment in which he threatened to impose a 10% levy on all foreign - owned companies.

Zhuwawo should be strongly reprimanded for advancing extortionist policies on already over – burdened and struggling companies. The Minister’s draconian proposal is not only retrogressive but will most certainly cripple the few companies still operating in Zimbabwe. Decades of rampant corruption and misguided economic policies combined with gross mismanagement and thievery by the Zanu PF regime have already reduced capacity utilisation to around 34% in industry according to the official statistics recently published by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries in conjunction with the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce.

The proposed new levy, coming on top of a myriad of other levies and taxes, will cripple the few existing foreign firms who are going to be forced to pay. The MDC finds it extremely absurd that Zhuwawo would exhibit such kind of archaic and medieval thinking that is essentially centred around illegal and unconstitutional asset–grabbing. It is this kind of retrogressive and anachronistic policy making that has reduced Zimbabwe into a basket case and a virtual banana republic in a very short period of 35 years since the country attained independence from British colonial rule.

It is beyond reasonable doubt that Zhuwawo’s real intention is not to benefit the majority of the people of Zimbabwe but to perpetuate the Zanu PF regime’s culture of patronage that will only benefit a few politically well - connected individuals and some other such regime apologists who will get an opportunity to take control of successful business enterprises at no cost to themselves. The move by Zhuwawo is blatantly criminal and unconstitutional and thus, should be strenuously resisted by all right – thinking and patriotic Zimbabweans.

Zhuwawo should be advised not to conduct himself like a bull in a china shop. He should sober down and desist from being delusional and excitable. His bullish and thuggish approach to issues to do with economic empowerment can only be a recipe for socio - economic doom and political mayhem. It boggles the mind why Zhuwawo is so hell bent on decimating what is left of the formal economy in Zimbabwe.

The Zanu PF regime has developed a macabre penchant for wanting to pauperise the majority of the people and in the process, virtually turning every Zimbabwean into a beggar or at the very least, an indigent and struggling vendor. Zhuwawo’s ill–conceived and ill–thought out proposal for an additional levy will inevitably escalate capital flight and in the process, exacerbate the suffering of the majority of Zimbabweans who are already living in poverty and destitution.

An MDC government will craft policies and programs that will stimulate the growth of our agro - based economy which will in turn, guarantee food security, investment and job creation. This will be achieved through the strengthening and stimulation of macro - economic stability, leveraging the country’s potential in order to attain efficient, inclusive and pro-poor growth capable of generating jobs and uplifting the standards of living of the majority of our people.

An MDC government will ensure that the economy accommodates every citizen of Zimbabwe regardless of race, colour or creed. It is our vision to do away with all retrogressive and punitive legislation that has the net effect of stifling both domestic and foreign direct investment. We earnestly and fervently hope and pray that Patrick Zhuwawo’s Stalinist and Stone Age economic template shall never see the light of day.

The MDC believes in the creation of a social democratic state underpinned by good governance, democracy, honesty, transparency, accountability, the rule of law and respect for the principle of constitutionalism. We would like to cultivate a culture of obedient or servant leadership, freedom, non-racialism, non-sexism and solidarity. These values are sacrosanct, indivisible and non-negotiable. An MDC government will be able to sustain and guarantee genuine, broad-based and holistic socio - economic and political empowerment of all the citizens of Zimbabwe.

Obert Chaurura Gutu
MDC National Spokesperson
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Mugabe has no business at the G-20 summit in Turkey

Robert Mugabe

The Group of Twenty (also known as the G-20) is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies of the world. Zimbabwe is not amongst the 20 major economies of the world and as such, we are not part of the G-20.

The G-20 include 19 individual countries that are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States of America; along with the European Union (EU). The G-20 represents 85% of the global economy. The tenth annual meeting of the G-20 heads of government is currently being held in the resort city of Antalya in Turkey.

Robert Mugabe and his huge delegation are also in Antalya supposedly to attend the G-20 in his capacity as the chairman of the African Union (AU). It is actually a gross embarrassment that Zimbabwe, currently ranked amongst the twenty poorest countries in the world, is also part and parcel of the ongoing G-20 summit in Turkey.

The official explanation given by the Zanu PF regime for Robert Mugabe’s attendance at the summit is that he is doing so in his capacity as the chairman of the AU. In fact, this is a very disgraceful and nebulous excuse for Mugabe to attend the G-20 summit. Accordingly, he is just at the fringes of the summit for the simple reason that Zimbabwe is not part of 20 major economies of the world. Mugabe is not in any way involved in the actual business of the discussions being conducted by the visiting heads of government. Effectively, he is just a bystander.

It therefore boggles the mind why Robert Mugabe and his wife, accompanied by a huge entourage of not less than 60 people, are in Antalya purportedly to attend the tenth annual meeting of the G-20.

Mugabe and his huge delegation had to charter an Air Zimbabwe jet to travel to Turkey notwithstanding that the national economy is presently in a comatose state and the government is struggling to pay salaries and bonuses for civil servants. Mugabe cannot be purporting to be representing Africa at the G-20 meeting because only one African country is a member of the G-20 and that country is South Africa. President Jacob Zuma of South Africa is representing his country at the Antalya meeting.

Robert Mugabe has a penchant for costly foreign travel. In 2015 alone, he has embarked on no less than 40 foreign excursions at the expense of the national treasury that is virtually bankrupt. Even his annual leave and Christmas holidays are routinely spent in faraway places in the Far East. Instead of promoting local tourism by spending his holidays in Victoria Falls, Kariba or the Eastern Highlands, Robert Mugabe almost invariably travels to Malaysia, Singapore or Hong Kong for his annual holidays; at huge expense to the struggling exchequer.

As the MDC, we call upon Robert Mugabe to learn to cut his cloth according to his size. Because of the ruinous economic policies adopted by his regime over the years; coupled with rampant corruption and gross mismanagement, Zimbabwe has been reduced from being the bread basket of Southern Africa to becoming a basket case in a very short period of 35 years. Mugabe should be ashamed of the damage that has been brought upon the economy of Zimbabwe as a direct result of decades of his misrule.

To date, more than 80% of Zimbabweans are living in abject poverty and penury thanks to Robert Mugabe’s misrule and mismanagement. At least 5 million Zimbabweans have escaped to the Diaspora as economic refugees; in the past 15 years alone. Such has been the legacy of Robert Mugabe’s record of misrule, mismanagement and unmitigated corruption that to date, at least 2 million Zimbabweans are facing serious food shortages mainly because the agricultural sector has been decimated by a violent and ill - planned so - called land reform program.

It is thus a total shame and a serious national embarrassment that Robert Mugabe saw it fit to travel to Antalya, Turkey to attend the G-20 meeting.

MDC: Equal Opportunities for All
Obert Chaurura Gutu
MDC National Spokesperson
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