Mugabe: Soul Searching Questions for Africa
In the wake of Zimbabwe’s impending General Elections on 29th of March 2008, President Robert Mugabe has assented to the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Bill. The bill will give native Zimbabweans the right to take majority control of foreign companies, including mines and banks.
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Mugabe’s actions elicit soul searching questions for Africa: Does taking charge of Africa’s destiny mean excluding other nationalities from running business ventures in Africa? Is Africa poor because foreigners own most business ventures?
Zimbabweans stand at a critical threshold of change. But they must ask themselves- what is the real problem in Zimbabwe? Are we impoverished because the white man owned land? Now that the land was seized, are we better off? Is our inflation high because foreigners are running our mines, banks and other companies? If we seize the companies, shall the rate of inflation drop? Is Mugabe the problem? If he steps down, will the country automatically be prosperous?
Africa ought to be wary of populist enactments that give a quick fix to deeply entrenched issues. Allocating a company to a local who does not understand the dynamics of running it is like signing its death warrant. In addition, allocating it without duly compensating the previous owner is flouting of the rule of law.
Africa must wean itself off the blame game mentality and candidly address the real problems facing it. African citizens must put to task whichever party is seeking power, to furnish concrete ways in which it will make their country prosperous economic hubs without further impoverishing them.
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