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Mugabe to up black 'wealth transfer'

07 August 2013, 10:59 AFP

Harare - Fresh from its landslide election victory, President Robert Mugabe's party said Tuesday it would intensify the transfer of economic wealth to black Zimbabweans and overhaul the country's "British" education system.

"We are saying we have to deepen and broaden the indigenisation and empowerment programme," Zanu-PF secretary for information Rugare Gumbo told AFP.

"It must cover a wide range of people," he said.

In a full page advert carried only in the private media - some fiercely critical of the government - Zanu-PF said it was "ready" to start applying the policies listed in its election manifesto.

"Over the next five years, Zimbabwe is going to witness a unique wealth transfer model that will see ordinary people take charge of their economy," the party vowed.

After a series of farm seizures, in 2007 Mugabe passed a law which stated large foreign-owned entities may be liable to cede 51% of their ownership.

So far only mines have been targeted.

Gumbo said there are also plans to change the British-modelled school curriculum.

"We want to change the curriculum. It reflects the British education system, which is not benefiting our people," he said.

"We want a curriculum which is indigenous, which looks at Zimbabwean history, society and culture."

Despite its economic woes, Zimbabwe still has one of Africa's highest literacy rates.

Investors have expressed concerns about the plans of Mugabe's new government.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange's main Industrial Index fell 1.7% Tuesday, following Monday's 11% plunge.

Local shares in Barclays fell 20% amid fears foreign banks could become the next target for Mugabe's indigenisation efforts.

Gumbo said the government would be looking east for funding for economic projects.

"We will also want to go to our friends in the East, because the West seems not to be cooperating."

Western powers have voiced serious concerns over irregularities in last week's election.


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