President Mugabe's speech refreshing

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s statements at the National Sports Stadium yesterday on the confusion around the indigenisation programme are most welcome given the spectacular slide our economy is going through.

In a surprise but welcome address during Independence celebrations yesterday, Mugabe hit out at the circus around the indigenisation policy, which has seen investors shunning the country for countries like Zambia and South Africa.

The indigenisation policy became notorious when minister of Water Saviour Kasukuwere was at the helm of the ministry of Indigenisation where he pushed through an aggressive drive to take over controlling stakes in foreign-owned companies.

Said Mugabe: “In the implementation of the indigenisation programme, there has been some confusion.

“We have said where the companies have been established mainly on the basis of natural resources, mining, agriculture, manufacturing, we demand that Zimbabwe either through government or through our people should have 51 percent and not less than 51 percent.

“But if a company establishes itself and is getting raw materials from outside and the raw materials are not from here in Zimbabwe, take the case of aluminium, we don’t have raw materials of it; if the raw materials come let’s say from Tanzania, which has it, and the company establishes itself here in Willowvale, we cannot demand 51 percent, we can negotiate with the company on what percent we shall have.

This is most welcome Mr President as it gives assurances to investors that nobody will one day grab their companies and money all because they are black Zimbabweans.

It is a fact of life that Zimbabwe needs foreign investors and if these foreign funders are to bring their money, they need security. Investors want to operate in an environment which legally allows them to do business.

What Zimbabweans need at the moment are jobs and if the Zanu PF proposed ZimAsset policy is to bear fruit, there is need to revisit the indigenisation policy which at the moment is anti-business.

At least the man who succeeded Kasukuwere at the ministry of Indigenisation, Francis Nhema appears sober and Mugabe must use him to attract foreign investors.

Nhema seems to be against Kasukuwere’s one-size-fits-all mantra in which he insisted that no sector was to be exempted from the 51 percent indigenisation equity and that this was the law and everyone had to follow whether they liked it or not.

Nhema recently said: “If you are going into sections of the service industry like banks, manufacturing and others where there is no resource to begin with, then you cannot say the 51 percent is mine.”

Comments (19)

well done Mr PRESIDENT

PROSPER - 19 April 2014

Thanks Mr President but please consider this 51% I, in my opinion think it is too much for starters Let it be introduced in the near future,Think of our beautiful Zimbabwe ,Papa.

mariyeti mpala - 19 April 2014

I have lost hope on ALL ZIMBABWEAN, not just Mugabe BUT ALL. They are just a bunch of rubbish whose heads are full of dung. They keep being fooled by Mugabe daily. SHAME SHAME SHAME.

chido - 19 April 2014

I am suprised you appear to have been taken in by Mr Mugabes "clarifications" Mr Editor. Your paper as has many others complained about economic policy inconsistencies in the past. Whats to stop the govt from moving goal posts when it suits them . I struggle to read anything in the the president's speech that clears the confusion. Would it not be easier for govt to declare an outright 51% shareholding for all mining entities or alternatively grant mining licences only to locals who can then look for their own foreign partners assuming they can be trusted to remember to hold on the majority shareholding. The reality on the ground is rather differrent, as we all know that most of the state actors prefer to raid established mining concerns for CSOTs and majority shareholding than undergoing the rigours of starting their own mining enterprises. If we were serious about starting our own resource based enterprises how come we are yet to read about successful indigenous mining houses employing and PAYING thousands of workers.

wadyenhiri - 20 April 2014

Mr President, still as clear as mud Still too greedy I'm afraid? 20% would be acceptable and lets face it, you soon learn in business that 20% of something is better than 51% of nothing, but then you have never ever been a businessman so you wouldn't understand would you !!! Make it clear cut and you will see the investment flow Zimbabwe's way, no doubt about it. It's just common sense.

ronaldos - 20 April 2014

The presidents speech "clarifying" the issue of 51pc shareholding is welcome, but too late to help the country recover from the damage of the "misunderstanding". Above all trust, an important element in business has been torn apart by the company jambanja that happened because what was heard during the ripping apart of companies that had worked hard to be where there are was deafening silence from the heard of government.

fuyane - 20 April 2014

Icho chagara chipolicy ichi ndechembavha hachina zvachinobatsira ngachibviswe zvachose. Kutoisa naminister wose pakabasa kokuda kubira maforeigners their hard earned money. Saka nguva yose iyi yanga ichitiwa confusion yacho iye Mugabe wacho ambenge ari kupi. Inhema idzo chingotii chete iclimb down yevakuru from their stupid, ill-designed policy meant for hoodwinking the naive electorate

mulocal - 20 April 2014

dont c anything new, mugabe has olwayz bn saying that.check yo files

reader01 - 21 April 2014

One thing to serious consider, Mr. President, is whether there are investors to buy the 51 percent shares in the investing companies - whether the raw materials are available locally or offshore. If you say every new investor must give away 51 percent, you are creating confusion - there must be investors to put in that large amount of money - otherwise the investors will not come, and you are left with massive unemployment.

Benjamin Chitate - 21 April 2014

This is not clarification but desperation and realisation by Mugabe that he has messed up big time. The current indegenisation act stipulates that all companies operating in the country should have at least 51% ownership. Where was Mugabe when Kasukuwere was threatening private companies? Its too late now and Zim is not the only investment destination on the continent. We should just get rid of this buffoon.

Disaster - 21 April 2014

people do not understand indigenous policy. Is it the people through the government that needs 51% or an individual.How under the sun someone from nowhere cone and request shares in a company.All what we are saying eg I have a bottle of coke not by label but by contents. I do not have a bottle opener. Give me your tool and we share the coke after you had opened. We cannot have 50-50 but I should benefit. This policy is overdue. Only that we were colonized so that nobody as a country could not have benefitted because all resources where channeled to the foreign land. Lets think deeply as Zimbabweans.

nyasha - 21 April 2014

This man is always confused how many times people have warned him about his foolish laws .He never listens now its too late investor have gone . Time and again we have said baba hamba uyophumla sowugugile

Diibulaanyika - 21 April 2014

Speeches do not change anything,because one can speak what he thinks people want , and change tomorrow when things go their way,for a gvt it is dangerous for newspaper to depend on speeches when the law on 51% shareholding is there and clear the former minister of indegenisation was using it lawfully he never overstepped. The country is facing serious economic challenges mainly of de- industrialization due mainly to laws that do not conform to current globalization tenets like the one we are talking about indegenisation, which is scaring investors. What is needed is the complete revisitation of the law and create a law that brings in investors not attacking ministers who are caring their duties according to the laws or legislation on the ground.

pagomo - 22 April 2014

i don't see the clarity in his speech. if the former minister used the law and never overstepped by scaring away investors succcessfully what makes you think an investor will suddenly opt to mugabe's speech. he is an unreliable leader no wonder at his age he thinks he can fool all the people all the time but alas he is only fooling himself. wake up uncle

kt - 22 April 2014

If I want to raise a company with 100% of my own money, why should I be forced to have someone else to have a say in my company? Voluntary is not a problem for me but does mr. Mugabe also bear the financial risk?

Syrah - 26 April 2014

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