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Locals Seeking Stakes in Foreign Firms to Raise Own Capital

  • Blessing  Zulu

Indigenization Minister Francis Nhema says locals who want stakes in foreign-owned small businesses should raise their own investment capital as the cash-strapped government cannot afford to assist them in their takeover bids.

In compliance with the indigenization law, Zimbabwe has from new year’s day banned foreigners from owning a majority stake in certain sectors such as agriculture, transportation, retail and wholesale trade, barbershops, hairdressing and beauty salons, employment and estate agencies and grain milling.

Any foreigners interested in these sectors should apply for indigenisation compliance certificates.

The National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board says at least 800 companies in sectors reserved for indigenous Zimbabweans, have applied for indigenisation compliance certificates.

Taking advantage of the new year deadline, some suspected Zanu-PF activists have invading some shops in Harare demanding total control.

Nhema said government is giving the existing businesses a reprieve but will change the rules later.

The government recently reversed an ultimatum for the foreigners to close their businesses by January 1ST, 2014. To discuss the confussion surrounding the indigenization policy and related issues Studio 7 turned to Zanu PF member Gadzira Chirumanzu and rights lawyer Dewa Mavhinga.

Chirumanzu said there is no policy discord, adding foreigners working in areas reserved for Zimbabweans will continue to be protected by the country’s laws as the government moves to empower locals.