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Zimbabwe Government Reviewing Controversial Indigenization Regulations - Minister

  • Gibbs Dube

The indigenous regulations require all businesses with assets of more than US$500,000 to be controlled by indigenous Zimbabweans within five years, with firms obliged to report by April 15 on their shareholding structure

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere have agreed to revise business indigenization regulations that have been controversial, following high-level talks involving Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

The regulations require all businesses with assets of more than US$500,000 to be controlled by indigenous Zimbabweans - in effect black Zimbabweans as the legislative definition of "indigenous" refers to victims of racial discrimination before independence in 1980.

Companies must report to Kasukuwere by April 15 as to the racial composition of shareholdings.

Kasukuwere, backed by Mr. Mugabe and the politburo of their ZANU-PF party, promulgated the regulations in late February,but Mr. Tsvangirai dismissed them as null and void saying the Cabinet was bypassed.

Kasukuwere told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that he has always been open to suggestions to refine the indigenization regulations.

The business community has been alarmed by the new regulations and has submitted comprehensive proposed modifications among other points calling for the powers vested in the indigenization minister to be reduced.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries President Kumbirai Katsande said the regulations give the minister too much power in deciding who the indigenous partners in firms will be.

Katsande told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that even some supporters of indigenization say that the powers accorded the minister are excessive.

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