Indigenisation, politics of exclusion, and problematics of autochthony in Zimbabwe’s redistribution agenda

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • SDG 10
  • SDG 2
  • SDG 1
  • Abstract:

    Abstract: Zimbabwe’s public policy trajectory has courted global attention specifically through its redistributive policies that include the land reform programme – which was implemented in the first decade of independence; and the black economic empowerment programme, which was implemented in the 1990s through affirmative action initiatives until the enactment of the comprehensive Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act in 2007. Notably, indigenisation has been the rallying ideology undergirding the state’s redistribution agenda since the 1980s. Over time, the understanding and application of the concept have raised serious questions on aspects of autochthony, nativity, belonging, and citizenship. Evidence on the ground suggests that the concept has been deliberately twisted, highly politicised, and manipulated as an instrument of exclusionary politics played at racial, political, class, and nationality levels, with the effect of calculatively side-lining potential beneficiaries, as well as facilitating the expropriation and dispossession of critical resources and assets from perceived “foreigners” in the country. Politicisation of indigenisation, economic empowerment, and autochthony has thrust clientelism, cronyism, loyalty, and political correctness as major criteria for accessing benefits of ownership and control of key strategic resources such as land and minerals, as well as shareholding in economic empowerment deals.