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Zimbabwe Cabinet Suspends Indigenization Regulations, Calls for Broad Revision

  • Gibbs Dube

A spokesman for Prime Minister Tsvangirai said the Cabinet had declared that the regulations published earlier this year by Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere were "null and void"

The Zimbabwean government late Tuesday suspended controversial regulations to implement indigenization legislation intended to give blacks a controlling stake in all medium-sized to large companies, indicating that the rules will be revised as Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said they would last week.

Reuters quoted James Maridadi, spokesman for the prime minister, as saying that the regulations published last month by Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere were "null and void."

Maridadi told the news agency following the regular Tuesday Cabinet meeting that the government "declared those regulations null and void and they are being suspended to allow for broad-based consultations on the best way to proceed" with indigenization.

The decision came on the eve of a Wednesday deadline for all companies with assets of more than US$500,000 to provide information on shareholdings and to submit indigenization plans to the ministry, but there remained considerable uncertainty given Mr. Tsvangirai's recent pledge to business that the rules would be revised.

Business sources said company directors affiliated with the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries and the Chamber of Mines met Tuesday to organize last-minute appeals for the revision of the regulations.

Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe Executive Director John Mufukare told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiri earlier that most members had already submitted their indigenization plans.

Political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya commented that the deadline was a non-event as he expected Mr. Tsvangirai would force Kasukuwere to review the regulations and publish a revised and less rigid set.

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