Zim moves to clarify indigenisation policy

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe's Cabinet has ordered Empowerment minister Francis Nhema to craft a paper clarifying government’s position on the Indigenisation Act.

Last week, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa told Parliament that the document will put to an end to speculation surrounding the law – compelling foreigners to give up 51 percent shareholding despite nature of business.

This comes on the back of reports that government has shifted stance on the implementation of the policy, moving from a one-size-fits-all approach to a sector specific one.

Recently, Mugabe ruled out the one-size-fits-all indigenisation approach, saying only companies utilising the country’s natural resources will be required to immediately turn over majority stakes to indigenous Zimbabweans.

“Cabinet directed the minister of Youth Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment to take up this issue with a view to aligning the law to the policy pronouncements,” Chinamasa said.

“He has been asked to start aligning and clarifying that position at the Politburo and minister Nhema has been charged with that responsibility,” he said during a question and answer session.

Chinamasa said there will be 100 percent ownership of resources, but hastened to say ownership and control are different things.

“Please do not confuse ownership with control. I have said all our struggles have been to assert our control over resources and that control is 100 percent,” the former Justice minister said.

“What we now do with exploitation of that is a matter of policy. How we exploit our land…and our minerals which are depleting… is now going to be a policy issue,” he said.

“What is important is that we want a win-win solution, relationship and arrangements…We are also saying that as they come to make money, using our assets, we also want to reap the benefits of the exploitation of those assets,” said Chinamasa.

Zimbabwe is desperately trying to attract Foreign Direct Investment and access international lines of credit.

This comes as economic analysts have expressed mixed feelings over government’s rethink on the controversial policy.

While some commend the new flexible approach, others feel government should scrap the law.

Analysts say if government casted in stone its vocal promises about making the empowerment law flexible, more investors will feel protected and visit the country.

Former Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada recently said the government’s policy rethink must be effected through legislative amendments, not vocal assurances.

Netherlands ambassador to Zimbabwe Gera Sneller has also said Dutch investors were ready to come into the country provided government clarifies policies that protect investor interests.

“Investors should have assurance that the same laws valid today will be valid tomorrow and that the same conditions should be applicable across sectors,” she said.

Investors and financiers are, however, wary of Zimbabwe’s policies, particularly the indigenisation law.

Comments (5)

Let us not deceive ourselves yourself and assume that amending any law will bring about an meaningful economic improvement to this nation. The current crisis is a result of ZANU PF politics of greed and their relentless looting of the resources. For instance the looting of diamonds at Marange communal area (See Chindori Chininga's report), the corruption in all State Owned Enterprises (ZESA, NRZ, PSMAS, ZMDC, NSSA, ZIMSEC etc)) Read through the Comptroller Auditor General's Audit reports from 2009) The real problem with this nation is poor governance, corruption by senior government officials as well as political leaders, selfishness by politicians, general lack of wisdom by political leaders and the general emotional problem of ZANU PF

Grievance Mafunga - 4 June 2014

Who will trust RGM & his corrupt regime?? Inga wani vaMugabe vakati,"ZVIROTO ZVIROTO CHETE." Kuda havo somusharuka vakanganwa zvawakambotaura ivo pachavo.Izvi zvinowanikwa hazvo.

DUTUGURU - 4 June 2014

When Investors come here they are coming to make a profit out of their business ventures, structures should be put in place to ensure an acceptable percentage of the profit they make benefits the local communities and the country at large, hence I support the Community Share Ownership Schemes. But then the problem comes when corrupt officials are appointed to chair such schemes to selfishly enrich themselves. Imagine all that money being channeled to infrastructure development such as roads, hospitals, railway lines, dams, schools and service delivery. I'm sure any Investor would find that to be acceptable and a win-win policy for the benefit of all parties. But then we also had the Minister of Finance only yesterday announcing that BIPPAS are not a guarantee that the government will not take over if and when it so wishes. Heaven help us all.

Dr Know - 4 June 2014

Dr know wataura zvako. Its like zimbabalooba is the land of confusion. In effect, chinamasa was saying even if we put in writing the law may not be followed(and investors read such statements & remember them). Solly chokwadi

Konfiyuzhen yega yega - 4 June 2014

we need fundamental rethinking which can only be done through leadership change

m - 5 June 2014

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