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12 - 19 March 2008 
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Inequalities: Productivity not Pegged on Redistribution

Colonial injustice and economic subjugation of the majority and indigenous inhabitants of African states was fought on the premise of the recreation, rediscovery and restoration of a humanistic, fair and just society (egalitarian). A Postcolonial Zimbabwe was collectively envisioned as a society whose values for equity and equality would collectively be embraced, as a rallying point.

People expected the postcolonial state to be as much socio-economic and politically inclusive as possible. The much-ignored view was that the rich would not necessarily surrender all their wealth to the poor in the name of equity and equality. Yet the Paradox was that the independence implied an end to injustice and the enhancement of competition in all spheres of life without bias to race.

The question of this collective material egalitarianism gave birth to socialism, human rights, land rights, anarchism, and the Afrocentric economic rights movement predicated on the popular perspective that there is a need to set up a coercive mechanism, to coerce the rich towards a spirit of equity and equality. Zimbabwe’s Postcolonial history has betrayed the nation. Zimbabwe’s redistributive coercive mechanisms are a paradox; purporting to be extremely for material equity and equality whilst ignoring that political fairness is indispensable of material fairness.

What remains after the land reform is a question of whether it is a black or indigenous person who is incapable of farming or successfully running an enterprise once it has been seized and reallocated to him. A business or a farm does not necessarily become successful because it has been reallocated to the indigenous beneficiary. Zimbabwe’s inherited farms for example, some which had state of the art equipment and machinery, have been converted into massive idle lands, with the equipment and machinery suffering depreciation, corrosion and obsoleteness.

South Africans are already debating the relevance of the speedy resolution of the material rights using the mechanisms of willing buyer and willing seller, which are less coercive. A debate is also raging in SADC about the question of indeginisation and empowerment. Many global high-ranking figures publicly accept that President Mugabe remains arguable a hero to some distant observers, mostly those not domiciled in Zimbabweans, who have not experienced the real consequences of this lawlessness. President Mugabe’s heroism is on the challenge he has given the imperial establishment on the land question. Some radical citizens of Africa view his version of indeginisation and empowerment as courageous and relevant to the restoration of these rights.President Mugabe’s admirers believe that land is a non-negotiable birth right. There is contestation of the land issue on the economic value it can add and/or has added to the beneficiaries given the current results in a Zimbabwe marred by economic decadence, even excluding the third factor, the battered economy, which negates agricultural production.

How can we then reallocate the other remaining critical success elements in order to complete the said revolution, given that it has been proved beyond doubt that there are other outstanding crucial components for a successful empowerment and indeginisation? How can we empower the poor to rediscover themselves, as capable people who can withstand global competition? How can we attract foreign and domestic investments to utilize our trainable and knowledgeable citizens, let alone business ventures when we are in direct confrontation with property rights, and global competition?

Zimbabwe remains isolated from the world of domestic and foreign investments because of the existence of coercive redistibutive mechanisms aimed at seizing, and reallocating all material wealth from the owners of the wealth to the purported indigenous people, and cronies.

Zimbabwe requires a political therapy centered on a new political dispensation, headed by a legitimate and legal leader who is capable of articulating the collective vision of people so as to restore national faith and future. Domestic reinvestment or economic rediscovery of the indigenous people is not possible without security and/or whilst people and their investments are under threat from some coercive redistributive mechanisms.

It is impossible to change our collective and shared destiny if we fail to secure a competitive economy, which is robust and resilient. Enhancing competition should become a priority in order to put us on the international space. The vision for competitiveness should be anchored, on attaining minimal coercive redistributive mechanisms. People should not fear competition, because it is the vision that inspired China, Malaysia and other developed nations.

To increase productivity and reduce the decimating inflation, we need to open our economy to foreign investors, domestic investments and including the externalized Zimbabwean brains (Diaspora), so that they bring with them technology and knowledge. A recovery of the economy is pinned on the successful acceptance of Zimbabwe into the international space based on the respect to property rights, investor rights, and the competitive edge remains the quality trainable and educated workforce.

By Hillary Kundishora
Hillary is a Scholar of Strategic Management

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