Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has appointed committees dominated by allies of President Robert Mugabe to help the government set minimum shareholdings in various segments of the economy to be allocated to black investors.
Former Defense Force officials are prominent among the reported appointees including retired Major-General Gilbert Mashingaidze, retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai and retired Colonel Karikoga Kaseke, who is also the chief executive of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.
Others include media commissioner Chris Mutsvangwa, Affirmative Action Group President Supa Mandiwanzira, musician Oliver Mtukudzi, presidential spokesman George Charamba, businessman Delma Lupepe and Econet Wireless boss Douglas Mboweni.
News reports quoted Kasukuwere as saying the appointees will come up with sectoral stakeholding targets by the end of next month. Companies with assets of more than US$500,000 are slated for indigenization.
Economic commentators said composition of the indigenization committees may scare off investors as most of the appointees are ZANU-PF functionaries. Bekithemba Mhlanga told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that ZANU-Zanu PF is determined to destroy Zimbabwe’s economy through empowerment of the ruling elite.
“It is worrying that these committees are dominated by former ruling party members who will do everything in their power to parcel the country’s resources to people who are sympathetic to ZANU-PF,” said Mhlanga, adding that “nothing constructive will come out of these committees.”
Economic commentator Masimba Kuchera said Kasukuwere is militarizing the indigenization program. “Most of these appointees are former army officers who are known to have spearheaded violent campaigns in the 2008 presidential election run off.”