MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai says his party is totally opposed to the indigenisation and economic empowerment drive that seeks to transfer wealth to previously disadvantaged Zimbabweans.

Government is implementing the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, which compels foreign-owned companies to cede 51 percent stake to indigenous Zimbabweans.

Addressing a rally at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera yesterday, Mr Tsvangirai said in place of the indigenisation policy, MDC-T intended to attract foreign investment to create jobs for Zimbabweans.

“We are totally opposed to this programme being undertaken by (Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Saviour) Kasukuwere and Zanu-PF,” said Mr Tsvangirai.

“There are some people who are moving around saying: ‘indigenisation, indigenisation’. How can you implement a party programme wakavanda neGovernment?

“Ours is a job plan. We cannot have a society where 90 percent of our children are not employed.

“Our plan is of jobs and starts by encouraging investment. Our plan is not to take from Peter to pay Paul. We cannot have another situation like what happened with the land reform, taking away from a few whites and giving to a few blacks.”

Mr Tsvangirai’s remarks come barely three days after President Mugabe officially launched the Chegutu-Mhondoro-Ngezi-Zvimba Community Share Ownership Trust at Zimplats. The platinum mining giant unveiled $10million to be used in community development projects.

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces urged foreign investors to respect Government’s policy to empower its Mr Tsvangirai and MDC-T ministers did not attend the launch, save for Mr Tongai Mathuthu, a deputy minister in the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment.

It is this ministry that is implementing empowerment regulations through Minister Kasukuwere.

MDC-T last week announced that it was launching an ‘empowerment’ programmme known as Investment, Jobs and Upliftment.

The programme is a direct challenge to the indigenisation and economic programme being implemented by the inclusive Government.

While the inclusive Government policy emphasises on ownership of companies by indigenous people, MDC-T wants locals to remain mere workers.

At Zimplats last Thursday, President Mugabe said the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme was in response to the previous exclusion of indigenous people from mainstream economic activity by the colonial regime.

“The policy seeks to broaden the economic base by involving the majority indigenous Zimbabweans in meaningful and gainful economic activity, thus giving greater meaning to our independence and self- determination,” he said.

“The majority shareholding underlines the principle of sovereign ownership by the State, on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe of the natural resources of the land.

“It restores the identity of the indigenous people as the rightful owners of the land and its resources.”

At the Rudhaka rally, Mr Tsvangirai spoke about the forthcoming national elections and violence, which he said should be addressed nationally and internationally.

A fortnight ago, President Mugabe said the highest decision-making bodies in Zanu-PF and the MDC formations should meet ahead of elections to digest the issue of political violence to ensure that the polls are held in a peaceful and conducive environment.

Mr Tsvangirai, who accused Zanu-PF of perpetrating violence in previous polls, said he did not need to campaign to win the elections.

He vowed never to agree again to an inclusive political arrangement like the one brokered by Sadc where Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations are in an inclusive Government.

President Mugabe has also raised concern over the discord in the inclusive Government and indicated that elections could be held not later than March next year.