‘Indigenisation’ key in Mugabe campaign

By IndepthAfrica
In Southern Africa
Dec 15th, 2012
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BILL CORCORAN in Cape Town

The controversial black economic empowerment policy of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe will be the cornerstone of his re-election campaign next year, according to an internal report by his Zanu-PF party.

The southern African country’s stalled powersharing arrangement between Zanu-PF and its political foes, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is due to end during the first six months of 2013, and both parties are preparing for the general election.

Zanu-PF held its annual conference last weekend and Mr Mugabe (89) was unveiled as its presidential candidate.

In his address to delegates, he urged them to fight like a “wounded beast” to regain sole control of the country.

Exactly how the former liberation movement intended achieving its goals was a guarded secret until recently, but the new strategy has been leaked into the public domain.

South Africa’s Mail and Guardian newspaper reported yesterday that the document reveals Zanu-PF will use its indigenisation policy, which is already forcing foreign-owned companies to give a 51 per cent stake to black Zimbabweans, to mobilise people politically.

“We have stepped up efforts to implement a political programme of mobilisation anchored on the indigenisation and economic empowerment policy,” the report adds.

Zanu-PF candidates will need “a localised campaign plan that neatly ties in with the indigenisation and empowerment imperatives” of their area, the report also states.

If that strategy fails to generate support, the former liberation movement has decided to enlist popular Zimbabweans to sing its candidates’ praises.

“We must identify influential people in our society, like celebrity musicians, [and] sports personalities, empower them and get them to support the indigenisation programme – and Zanu-PF by association,” the report urges.

The party will also launch an internet campaign for the first time.

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