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Zimbabwe's Indigenization Program Allegedly an Elitist Club

The Youth Forum of Zimbabwe says the same people who benefited from the 2000 land reforms are the same people currently accessing benefits of the black economic empowerment program. (File Photo)

The Youth Forum of Zimbabwe claims that the country’s black economic empowerment program has been largely hijacked by the elite, who benefited from the 2000 land reforms and other state-sanctioned schemes.

Forum director Wellington Zindove said this prompted the organization to hold a key meeting for all stakeholders Thursday evening to map the way forward.

“As civic society were are realizing that we have not been engaging so much on this front. So, we are trying to afford ourselves an opportunity to look at these things in order to be able to build our own informed capacities to monitor and evaluate the talk and practical developments on the ground,” he said.

Zindove said business executives, lawmakers, Harare council officials, civic society leaders and members of the public attended the meeting.

“The indigenization programme is fast degenerating into an elitist club of greedy individuals who are into racketeering. These are the same people who are in government, the same people who benefited through multiple land ownership and are the same people who are now again benefiting from the indigenization and empowerment programme.”

Zindove said time has come for Zimbabweans to take control of the program, which compels foreign-owned companies to transfer majority stakes to locals.

The country’s indigenization program has been widely criticized locally and internationally as a scheme meant to nationalize foreign-owned firms.