Following public hearings last week in Bulawayo and on Monday in Harare on the proposed indigenization of medium-sized to large Zimbabwean companies, the Parliamentary Legal Committee will begin reviewing controversial regulations this week amid indications some provisions may violate the constitution.
The Indigenization and Empowerment Act of 2007 calls for every company with more than US$500,000 in assets to be controlled by black Zimbabweans. Rules to implement the legislation were only promulgated in February by the Indigenization Ministry.
Legal Committee Chairman Obert Gutu told VOA that his committee will report to Parliament upon completing its review of the indigenization regulations issued last month by Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere without review by the Cabinet or discussion in the Parliament.
Gutu, member of Parliament for Chisipite, Harare, for the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, said that as his panel is mandated to scrutinize all laws, it could repeal many provisions of the indigenization regulations.
“In terms of some sections of the Constitution of Zimbabwe we are mandated to refuse to give these indigenization regulations a clean bill of legal health because they may be violating the constitution and also [go beyond] the terms the Indigenization Act,” he said.
Budget, Finance, Economic Planning and Investment Committee Chairman Paddy Zhanda of the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe said at least 350 members of the public turned out late last week and Monday for hearings in Bulawayo and Harare.
Fellow Investment Committee member Eddie Cross of the Tsvangirai MDC said most Zimbabweans do not oppose indigenization in principle - but do not want laws that deprive citizens of their property.