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Zimbabwe Industry Minister Castigates Mugabe Over Proposed Expropriations

Industry Minister Welshman Ncube said President Mugabe's remarks at the recent conference of his ZANU-PF party expressed his own opinion and not the policy of the government of national unity

Zimbabwean Minister of Industry and Commerce Welshman Ncube on Tuesday dismissed a recent threat by President Robert Mugabe to seize Zimbabwean assets of US and British corporations if Western sanctions against him and his associates are not lifted.

Ncube said the president’s remarks at the recent ZANU-PF conference expressed his own opinion and not that of the unity government in place since 2009. Ncube said indigenization and property rights policies say the state cannot seize foreign-owned firms.

Ncube added that Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF cannot start grabbing foreign-owned companies without consulting the other two ruling parties. “Even if there are consultations over this issue, I don’t see us reaching a consensus,” he said.

But political analyst George Mkhwanazi said ZANU-PF is entirely capable of moving to seize foreign-owned firms without the permission of its governing partners.

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