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Zimbabwe Ministers Agree Not to Indigenize Non-Profit Making Schools

Zimbabwe’s indigenization and education ministers have agreed to spare non-profit making private schools from transferring majority stakes to locals following the publication of a widely-criticized notice two weeks ago compelling the institutions to start parceling out shares under the economic empowerment program.

Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Education Minister David Coltart made the announcement in a Facebook thread Wednesday evening indicating that they held a meeting to iron out their differences on rolling out the program in the education sector.

The two noted in the thread that trust, religious and community schools will not be affected by the controversial program.

Some interested people who posted messages on Coltart’s Facebook commended the move though they expressed skepticism over Kasukuwere’s u-turn saying the indigenization program is scaring away investors.

The indigenization law compels foreign-owned companies to transfer a 51 percent stake to locals.

Former school headmaster Paul Ngwenya, who was also the president of the National Association of Primary School Heads, said it is impossible to indigenize schools.

“Most schools do not make any profit as they plough back all the money they generate through school fees and levies,” said Ngwenya.

The indigenization program has been rolled out in the mining sector where some corporations have been forced to part with majority stakes.

The shares set aside for locals have not yet been paid for, raising concern over attempts by President Robert Mugabe’s party to nationalize foreign-owned firms.