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Zimbabwe War Veterans Threaten Takeover of Companies Leaving Bulawayo

  • Gibbs Dube

ZIM89JS7,13 Colonnaded City Hall building with clock tower, lush lawns and trees; business people walk past. Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Copyright Tropix (J. Schmid)

ZIM89JS7,13 Colonnaded City Hall building with clock tower, lush lawns and trees; business people walk past. Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Copyright Tropix (J. Schmid)

The Bulawayo-based war veterans said they will recommend to the Ministry of Indigenization that such companies be taken over even if the indigenous acquirers do not have sufficient funds to buy shares

Zimbabe liberation war veterans affiliated with a politically moderate ZANU-PF faction led by retired army general Solomon Mujuru vowed Tuesday that they will not allow any company to shut down its factory in Bulawayo to relocate it to Harare.

The Bulawayo-based war veterans said they will recommend to the Ministry of Indigenization that such companies be taken over even if the indigenous acquirers do not have sufficient funds to buy shares as required under the indigenization law.

The war veterans said they will soon block the relocation of Hunyani Printopak, Cotton Printers, National Blankets and National Foods, all planning to relocate.

The veterans said they will work with progressive ZANU-PF politicians and Bulawayo City Council to “restore normalcy in the industrial sector in the city."

Jabulani Sibanda, chairman of a harder-line faction linked to ZANU-PF strongman Emmerson Mnangagwa, minister of Defense, promised what he called fireworks within the next few days after taking stock of company closures in Bulawayo.

He said people in southwestern Zimbabwe are seriously concerned about the large number of factory closures.

Max Mnkandla, director of the Liberators Peace Initiative Trust, a third veterans group not linked to ZANU-PF, also condemned the factory relocations. But Mnkandla said war veterans should not interfer with the operation of private companies.

Economist Bekithemba Mhlanga said the threat by veterans against companies closing factories in Bulawayo sends the wrong signal to local and international investors.

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