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Foreign Banks in Zimbabwe Offer 29 Percent Indigenization Counter-Proposal

  • Gibbs Dube

Sources said some banks have offered detailed indigenization plans to the sectoral committee governing financial services offering a 29 percent stake for indigenous or black Zimbabweans instead of a targeted 40 percent

Foreign-owned banks in Zimbabwe have tabled counter-proposals to indigenization or black-empowerment saying the financial sector still faces too many constraints for strategic stakes to be divested.

Sources said some banks have offered detailed indigenization plans to the sectoral committee governing financial services. Under these proposals, the stake of indigenous or black Zimbabweans would be just 29 percent.

Other banks are proposing to invest in local community programs instead of selling shares.

The financial services sectoral committee has recommended banks sell 40 percent of shares to indigenous people.

Economist Godfrey Kanyenze agreed that banks are not ready for an indigenization shock.

Elsewhere, Zimbabwe's deputy sheriff raided Air Zimbabwe headquarters on Wednesday and seized property in a bid to raise about US$500,000 to pay wages and bonuses owed to the state carrier’s workers.

The state-controlled Herald newspaper said the deputy intended to take possession of 26 vehicles and machinery in Air Zimbabwe maintenance shops, but only claimed a 75-seat staff bus and two minibuses before airline management filed an urgent application in High Court to block the seizures. A hearing is expected soon.

Labor expert Davies Ndumiso Sibanda told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that the airline could have avoided the court order for attachment of property if it had moved to settle outstanding worker claims.

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