Accessibility links

Drive To Indigenize Banks Cause Friction in Zimbabwe Unity Govt

Following last week's annual conference in which it vowed to press on with indigenization, ZANU-PF has upped the ante by rejecting indigenization proposals from Barclays Bank and Standard Chartered

The drive by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party to extract a 51 percent stake in the equity of foreign companies doing business in the country has further divided the long-troubled national unity government in Harare.

The latest flashpoint is ZANU-PF's move on the financial sector.

President Mugabe and a ZANU-PF conference last week said the indigenization program must move ahead. ZANU-PF has upped the ante this week by rejecting indigenization proposals from Britain's Barclays Bank and South Africa's Standard Chartered.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai recently said the indigenization policy would not help create jobs, instead drivintg investors away. His Movement for Democratic Change says ZANU-PF cannot treat its party resolutions as a mandate for the unity government.

The MDC notes that there has been no Cabinet discussion of bank indigenization.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that some are interested in looting instead of economic revival, vowing to challenge Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, the main driving force - other than Mr. Mugabe - of the program.

Kasukuwere said there is no going back and banks must follow the law of the land