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Sharp Differences Emerge Over Indigenization Program

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Zimbabweans have always expressed divergent views over the indigenization program since its launch two years ago.

Some condemn it as a program well-crafted for top Zanu-PF officials while others believe that it is meant to transfer wealth from foreign-owned companies to poor Zimbabweans.

Opponents of the black empowerment scheme say the program is ill-timed as Zimbabwe attempts to recover from a decade of economic decline.

Mthokozisi Mkwananzi of Bulawayo says not much will be derived from the black economic empowerment program as the money being given to individuals is very little to start a business or recapitalize an existing business entity.

Mkwananzi adds that funds being accessed by individuals cannot even boost projects linked to the country’s agrarian reforms of 2000.

But Zanu-PF activist Morris Ngwenya argues that Zimbabweans have an equal opportunity of accessing the money.

“A large number of people have benefited under this empowerment scheme launched by the Ministry of Indigenization and Economic Empowerment,” said Ngwenya.

Terrence Mubaiwa of Harare disagrees, saying the indigenization program is for Zanu-PF supporters.

Bulawayo resident Ambrose Sibindi believes that collapsing city companies can be rescued through the injection of capital sourced from the indigenization program if it is smoothly implemented.

“The program is slowly losing credibility due to alleged corruption in the disbursement of funds to beneficiaries,” said Sibindi.
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Matson Hlalo, former Affirmative Action Group deputy president, believes that the program is being wrongly implemented to benefit certain political organizations at the expense of members of the public.

It still remains to be seen whether the indigenization program will benefit Zimbabweans as the country prepares for a constitutional referendum and general election.