In the past few days we have seen more evidence that the Zanu PF regime
by Mr. Mugabe simply does not have a clue as to how to manage the
Having destroyed much of the productive sector they now embark on a
rush to take over what is left and completely destroy whatever
had left as a destination for investment in any shape or form.
After months of speculation about taking over 51 per cent of all mining
companies, they have announced that they are going to take over 51 per
of all public companies and any others they think might be attractive
targets. 51 per cent means control of management as well as all
policies so foreign and local investors who hold stocks in such
will have no say over who manages them or what they do with their
The local bourse must be worth a fair packet right now and I doubt if
is enough money in the whole country to buy 51 per cent although when
do target a company its share price will collapse in short order as
investors bail out, convert their money into hard currency and run. To
this theft of private assets, they are going to create a fund -
the proverbial golden goose, the Reserve Bank - which no doubt will
print money to fund the operation and are making provision for a
this!) LEVY on all companies to finance the purchase of shares by
I cannot think of any company which would accept such conditions -
especially when we full well know who the beneficiaries are going to
Certainly this will now finally sink the mining sector where against
odds people were still investing, thinking that sanity will prevail.
collection of goons these guys are, they have nothing in mind but the
looting of national assets and a total disregard for the consequences.
SADC States must take note because if this latest act of idiocy is
it will damage the reputation of the entire region as an investment
Not satisfied with this and in an environment where prices, driven by
actions of the State, are doubling weekly, they have set up a Taskforce
Price Monitoring and Stabilisation headed by the Minister of Industry.
Yesterday the Minister announced grandly that he was going to
to roll back prices by 50 per cent. Just like that! Bread down from
to Z$20 000, fuel down from Z$160 000 or Z$180 000 to Z$60 000. Does he
really think that this can be done and not force all firms into
Inflation is a symptom of a disease called bad macro economic policy.
policies are exclusively in the hands of the State. This past week the
government has been buying foreign exchange on the illegal parallel
of the country and paying whatever it took to get the money into their
hands. This drove the US dollar into the stratosphere and in an
where the Reserve Bank allocates not a cent to fuel imports, the
sector relies totally on the parallel markets to secure the funds for
imports. They must price their products at a level that will generate
local currency to buy their next lot of foreign exchange. The margins
fuel are not large and any major shift like last week actually costs
It is the Reserve Bank and the Ministry of Finance that are driving
inflation. You cannot run a budget deficit of 60 per cent of GDP and
expect the currency to collapse. When it does, business managers have
choice but to price ahead of the tidal wave of inflation or they find
themselves swamped and dumped on the beach. In this environment a
can be wiped out in days.
You cannot control inflation by trying to control the symptoms. You
deal with the disease. Obert Mpofu, the Minister in charge of this
nonsensical exercise must know better. He is no fool and has been at
helm of the Ministry responsible for industry long enough to know a few
business leaders who can advise him. Not at all, he forms a elite group
the security forces to enforce his dictates. We all know what that
hordes of young thugs just out of some Youth Training Center will
businesses where they will arrest and intimidate managers and owners
will be fined or hauled to Court to be charged under some regulation or
Coming on top of the new regulations requiring business to 'sell'
control of the business to Party hacks and Chefs, this is too much. I
predict wholesale business closures if they follow through with this
I am often told by local leaders in all spheres that the MDC has no
ever taking power away from Zanu PF and that our only hope of any sort
change is to 'cut a deal' with Zanu PF and share in the proceeds.
been criticized by many for taking a hard stand on any compromise with
PF. We hold to the view that the people must decide who will govern
no body else. We certainly will not take any short cuts to power, which
might compromise that position.
I remain more convinced of the rightness of that policy today than
Zanu PF has to go, lock stock and barrel, no compromises. They are
incompetent and deceitful. They have learned nothing from 27 years in
and I cannot see any one of them being worth saving to serve in a new
government. I think they have left this last grab of assets too late
days are done and the SADC has had enough of their shenanigans.
Mbeki will have to broaden the basis of the talks in Pretoria to
everything that Zanu is currently doing in its last ditch stand. The
amendments to the Constitution, the banning of MDC political activity,
arrest of activists, the continuing land grab, the new asset grab in
guise of indigenisation, the printing of money and the run away budget
deficit. The food crisis and the humanitarian needs of million who are
The largest miller in the country has had no maize delivered to it for
month and is completely out of stock on wheat and oil. If SADC does not
soon, this ship might sink completely and then we are faced with a
operation - not a simple stabilisation and recovery programme.
Bulawayo, 27th June 2007