Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe says foreign investors will only be allowed into the country as partners and not as dictators because the “honey” is in the economy and not in politics or in Parliament.
“We say we are independent and rule ourselves, but they say yes, you have that independence in institutions like Parliament, but we control the economy, ndopane huchika apa,” he was quoted by The Herald as saying at the opening of a Choppies Supermarket in Chitungwiza.
“We want to control that economy from production to manufacturing, marketing and exportation instead of going to the restaurants owned by those who have oppressed us since time immemorial.
“We cannot reject or chase them away because there is no country that does not have foreigners. Asi vanenge vachibatsirana nesu, kwete kuti isu ndisu tovabatsira munyika medu. Tigoti inyika yedu pakai? For us to continue saying yes master, yes baas?”
Mugabe insists that indigenisation is not dead and has given foreign companies an ultimatum to spell their empowerment plans next year.
His comments come after most analysts thought his administration had softened its stance on indigenisation to get back onto the good books of international financial institutions so that it can access new loans to boost the economic which has been on a slide for the past three years.
Choppies has 78 supermarkets in Botswana, 40 in South Africa, 29 in Zimbabwe and one in Zambia. It is chaired by former Botswana President Festus Mogae.
Zimbabwean Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko has a stake in the company and his son Siqokoqela is the managing director of Choppies Zimbabwe.