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Zimbabwean Black Empowerment Group Vows to Enforce Indigenization Rules

The Affirmative Action Group said starting next month it will go from factory to factory in urban areas to enforce controversial indigenization regulations which Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has denounced.

Members of Zimbabwe’s largest black empowerment organization, the Affirmative Action Group, say say they intend to help the government enforce recently published regulations for black majority control of companies.

The group announced that beginning in March it will move from one factory to another in urban areas to enforce the controversial regulations, which Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has denounced as counterproductive to the country's efforts to attract investors to rebuild the economy.

The law requires companies to cede at least 51 percent of their shareholding stake to black Zimbabweans.

Affirmative Action founding member and former president Matson Hlalo was critical of the move, telling VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that it was an attempt by ZANU-PF-aligned empowerment advocates to seize white assets.

James Maridadi, a spokesman for Mr. Tsvangirai, said the prime minister has not yet met with Youth Development, Indigenization and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere to discuss the new indigenization regulations.

Kasukuwere published Regulations late last month spelling out how the 2008 law for indigenization of enterprises is to be implemented. Though companies have five years to comply, they must disclose shareholdings this year.