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Indigenization Battle Lines Drawn in Zimbabwe as PM Tsvangirai Calls For Regs Revision

Tsvangirai reassured business leaders this week that he would shape a more moderate process of indigenization to ensure that international investors do not bypass Zimbabwe which desperately needs capital

A potential political battle is shaping up over the pace and scope of corporate indigenization in Zimbabwe in the wake of a pledge to business by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai that he will tell Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere to rewrite recently promulgated empowerment regulations.

Tsvangirai promised business leaders this week that he would shape a more moderate process of indigenization to ensure investors do not bypass Zimbabwe.

News reports said Tsvangirai will instruct Kasukuwere in the next meeting of the Council of Ministers, which the prime minister chairs, to scrap the regulations that he published last month and replace them with more palatable administrative rules.

Obert Gutu, chairman of the Parliamentary Legal Committee and Senate chief whip for the Movement for Democratic Change that Tsvangirai heads, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that the prime minister has the constitutional right to call on the minister to revise the indigenization regulations.

Kasukuwere could not be reached for comment.

Elsewhere, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress took exception to statements Thursday by ANC Youth League Chairman Julius Malema - who was recently in Zimbabwe to push indigenization - saying the South African ruling party backs President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party.

Correspondent Benedict Nhlapho reported on the fallout from a Malema news conference in which the ANC firebrand appeared to undermine the Zimbabwe mediation effort of President Jacob Zuma in saying the party would do all it could to ensure that ZANU-PF as a liberation party remained in power.