The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has launched its economic policy dubbed JUICE which the party says will focus on building a strong economy and create millions of jobs in the next five years.
Launching the program at Highglen Shopping Centre on Thursday, Mr. Tsvangirai said the Jobs Upliftment Investment Capital Environment (JUICE), will address the country’s economic and unemployment problems.
He said the biggest challenge that the MDC-T government will face, if they win the next elections, is creating jobs for more than 80 percent of Zimbabweans who are not in the formal sector.
Under the policy, companies that create jobs will receive various incentives.
Finance Minister and MDC-T secretary general, Tendai Biti, explained that JUICE will address the country’s biggest problem of joblessness.
“We want to create decent employment opportunities in Zimbabwe. We want to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship. We want to attract foreign direct investment,” Biti said.
Prime Minister Tsvangirai, however, said regional integration will be difficult to achieve if countries such as South Africa have policies that discourage trade with other countries.
“We actually import to South Africa billions of manufactured goods. That means we are creating jobs in South Africa but they don’t want to do the same to us.”
He castigated Zanu PF’s indigenisation policy saying it is not empowering people at all.
However, Zanu PF insists the indigenization policy, which mandates foreign-owned companies to transfer 51 percent stakes to black Zimbabweans, is good for the country.
Writing on his Facebook wall this week, Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, blamed the so-called targeted sanctions for impeding investment in Zimbabwe.
He said the indigenization policy does not impede investment as alleged by the MDC and others.
He said they were “not going back on empowerment because to do so creates uncertainty and dishonesty.”
Indigenization Ministry Legal Advisor Psychology Maziwisa told VOA Studio 7 that the MDC-T’s economic blueprint is “an electioneering and a political convenient statement from a party that has failed to create jobs in four years they have been in government.”
“It’s an empty policy. They call it JUICE but there is nothing juicy about that policy,” said Maziwisa.