THE leader of Zimbabwe’s main opposition party has courted controversy ahead of the general elections by saying foreign nationals should do menial jobs while indigenous citizens must solely enjoy from the country’s vast mineral riches.
Nelson Chamisa, of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said Chinese, Indians and Europeans were welcome to the Southern African country on those conditions.
Speaking at a star rally of the party ahead of the July 30 poll, Chamisa accused the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF) of auctioning the country’s resources to Chinese and foreigners on a silver platter thereby depriving local citizens of the national cake.
This is an attack on the government’s so-called ‘Look East’ policy, which focused on attracting investments from Asia after a fallout with Europe, mainly Britain.
“We have abundant wealth – 60 different minerals,” Chamisa told his supporters.
“Indians should come to clean plates (utensils), Chinese to clean pots while Europeans herd our cattle while locals will be at the comfort of their resources,” he said to applause.
Despite its vast mineral resources, Zimbabwe is gripped by poverty.
Politicians are accused of misusing revenues from minerals, particularly diamonds.
The MDC has emerged the biggest threat to incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa and ZANU-PF for the watershed elections.
More than 100 political parties have registered to contestin the first elections the country will hold without the participation of longtime leader, Robert Mugabe.
He was blamed for controversial economic policies that worsened poverty in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe was toppled after a brief military takeover in November last year.
– CAJ News