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No business for Empowerment ministry

Shakeman Mugari

THE Ministry of State for Indigenisation and Empowerment is yet to implement programmes to justify its existence since its creation some 10 months ago, members of the Parliamentary Committee

on Industry and International Trade noted this week.

The ministry, headed by Josiah Tungamirai, has not recruited key personnel and supporting staff and is unlikely to implement any indeginisation policies this year due to problems that it is facing.

The MPs present at the routine committee meeting said the ministry, set up at the beginning of the year, had not done anything to justify its existence.

They also said there was no sense of urgency by the ministry to play its appointed role in the indigenisation programme.

Principal director for indeginisation Ozias Hove who gave evidence to the parliamentary committee on behalf of the ministry had a torrid time.

He battled to explain the vision of the new ministry and what it has done so far.

Zanu PF MP Victor Chitongo took a swipe at the ministry saying it should have at least taken the initiative to justify its 10 months of existence.

“You have been in office for the past 10 months and we have not even started talking about the decentalisation process. We need to know the way forward on this,” said Chitongo.

“I want to tell my constituents what is happening and I want you to give me concrete things.”

Details presented to the committee show that the ministry has been busy trying to revise the Policy Framework for Indeginisation of the Economy of 1998.

Officers are also working on the Draft National Empowerment Bill that the ministry said would be presented to parliament early next year.

The MPs were unimpressed and made their sentiments clear.

“What I see here is the danger of you falling into the same trap of people enriching themselves. We have many individuals getting more than they deserve,” said MDC MP Moses Mzila Ndlovu, who was the acting chairman for the meeting.

“As I see it, you are on the course for failure,” said Ndlovu.

The ministry is also seen to be duplicating roles with other ministries in the government.

There is the Ministry of Small Enterprises whose mandate does not differ much from the role of Tungamirai’s ministry.

Zimbabwe’s indeginisation programme has been riddled with corruption and self-enrichment by politicians. Bogus fuel merchants recently siphoned close to US$113 millioin received from the auction market and diverted it to the black market.

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