Kasukuwere hits back
HARARE – Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere has attacked central bank governor Gideon Gono and Finance minister Tendai Biti over their utterances against his empowerment programme, labelling them “noisy characters.”
Kasukuwere yesterday told Parliament’s committee on Women, Youth and Gender that the two wanted to hog the limelight every day and were glory-seekers.
He was responding to a question asked by the committee’s MDC MP Miskeck Kagurabadza, on whether he was singing from the same hymn with Gono and Biti who have openly condemned his indigenisation drive, particularly in relation to banks.
A fortnight ago, Gono took a swipe at Kasukuwere, warning him to be careful in the indigenisation of financial institutions.
In presenting his 2013 Monetary Policy Statement Gono said while the banks should observe the laws of the country including the Indigenisation Act, “the process… should, however, take cognisance of the sensitiveness around the operation of the banks to restore confidence, trust and stability in the sector.”
“One-size-fits-all does not work,” the Central Bank boss said.
He said the bank was working together with the Indigenisation ministry “to ensure that compliance with appropriate laws is done in an orderly manner.”
“Any pronouncements that encroach into the financial sector will remain pronouncements until they know who to consult,” Gono said adding that, he will not keep quiet or fold hands while there are “frequent and flagrant attacks by some who are not as knowledgeable as us.”
But, Kasukuwere argues indigenisation is a government programme and is of national interest.
“I am not implementing my own policy. It is not an individual view. I am implementing a country’s law and it is not a Kasukuwere law. The problem is that this country is full of noisy characters.
“They have a lot of egos, many of them that are dangerous to the country.”
He insisted government was going ahead to indigenise banks and private schools.
“The laws must be followed. We don’t want to sing a different hymn as we have an indigenisation law and lets follow it, “said Kasukuwere.
Kasukuwere said he does not understand why Biti was not supporting empowerment programmes for youths by not giving them enough funds.
“I don’t know whether it is a case of lack of desire or antagonism or whether it’s both. We could have raised cash and buy shares for youth empowerment and he has been refusing to fund. I think it is different political ideologolgy. Clearly he does not believe in the empowerment and indigenisation programme,” said Kasukuwere.
Biti has been quoted as saying an; “(MDC government) will review the entire Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act so that it is not about percentages.”
“We will allow a law that ensures that there is genuine empowerment in Zimbabwe, children are going to school, hospitals are coming. It is not about figures. It is about ensuring that everyone is participating. The 51/49 percent is a wrong concept. That is why you only find that model here in Zimbabwe. You don’t find it in South Africa. The BEE in South Africa is totally different.”
He said empowering the people by giving them jobs, education, information and communication technology was key.