In the colonial economy the “non-whites” were mainly a source of cheap labor for capital accumulation through extractive industries, farming, the growth of manufacturing industry and the commercial sector. It has been a longstanding goal of the liberation struggle to redress this disadvantageous position in which the majority of the population was engineered into “hewers of wood and drawers of water”.
ZAPU believes that there should be affirmative action to promote local participation and orderly acquisition of a stake in the formal economy. One key plank in this approach is the development and nurturing of the domestic private sector that can partner foreign direct investment (FDI). As an interim step, profit-oriented public enterprises can hold partnerships with foreign investors while building the capacity of the local private sector. The bottom line here is that there should be no plunder of going concerns for the benefit of greedy politicians and local oligarchs. Economic stability, employment creation and higher living standards for the majority should not be sacrificed for the quick enrichment of a few.
Indigenization should not be a mirror-image of colonial racist expropriation in which the new order indiscriminately targets Zimbabwean-born people whose ancestors or part of them came from Europe, Asia or neighboring territories. “Indigenization” driven by racism, chauvinism, ethnocentric considerations and xenophobia is counter to the creation of a Zimbabwe that is comfortable with regional integration and a globalizing world.