The African leader said in a televised interview last night: “Even if government urged black business people to form partnerships with each other, they say, ’no’.
“They want to see a European invest and go and work for that European as directors, managers, chief executives.
“We would want to see our people turned into entrepreneurs.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe during his birthday celebrations
“Have we really become producers of our own goods? Have we become masters of our own economy? Or are we still thinking of whites as the best entrepreneurs and Africans as the labourers for these entrepreneurs?”
Mr Mugabe, who has been President of the country since December 1987, said there were “surreptitious” operations in agriculture, where white Zimbabweans offered to run farms owned by black landowners, telling them that “you don’t have to worry if you have a farm. We can cultivate for you, stay where you are. Live in town, we will do the work for you".
Robert Mugabe speaking at the party conference in December last year
Have we really become producers of our own goods? Have we become masters of our own economy? Or are we still thinking of whites as the best entrepreneurs and Africans as the labourers for these entrepreneurs?
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe in a televised interview marking his 93rd birthday
Black landowners bringing in white people to run farms has become increasingly common in the country, especially after Mr Mugabe started seizing white-owned farms which started in 2000.
Commercial farming in the country had been dominated by white-owned farms previously but the policy of seizure led to white farm workers left unemployed as agricultural output fell.
Farms run by black owners have also suffered with problems with labour as workers have often simply abandoned jobs over issues such as non-payment of wages and ill-treatment by employers.
Cecil the lion Mon, August 3, 2015
Cecil was a lion in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. He was killed on 1 July 2015, at the age of thirteen.
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Cecil the lion relaxing with the pride and playing with his family
The Zimbabwe government has said it would close down black farm owners who have leased their land to whites, but it has yet to take any actual action over its threats.
Veteran independent Zimbabwe economist John Robertson, based in Harare, said that Mr Mugabe’s government was suspicious of employers because they became “influential” and undermined government control.
He said: “The fact that there are not may black employers is interesting. They dominate retail business there are thousands of them, but the number of manufacturers are down to hundreds.”
Robert Mugabe at his 93rd birthday celebrations
Robert Mugabe during a speech in 2015
Despite his advanced years, Mr Mugabe vowed to stand for election once again with the ruling ZANU-PF party saying that they would endorse him at their annual conference which took place in December last year.
Mr Mugabe has ruled the country for more than 36 years and won the last election in 2013 despite concerns over voting irregularities.
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