NewsSouthern AfricaZimbabwe's indigenisation law amendment denied


Posted on Thursday, 25 April 2013 13:39

Zimbabwe's indigenisation law amendment denied

By Janet Shoko

Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, Saviour Kasukuwere has denied amending the legislationZimbabwe's government is reportedly revising its contentious indigenisation laws, which could see the government grabbing controlling stakes in foreign companies without paying compensation.


Under the present legislation, foreign companies must cease at least 51 percent to locals, but lack of money to buy shares from locals has hampered the policy forcing a rethink from the government.

But critics claim this could sound a death knell for Zimbabwe's staggering economy, drawing parallels with a shambolic land reform programme, which brought agriculture to its knees.

The Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, Saviour Kasukuwere is reportedly working with the Attorney-General's Office to legislate the proposed amendments.

The new regulations would include provisions through which locals will be able to use mineral resources on mining claims as a contribution for equity in foreign mining ventures, while also relegating the vendor financing model, it has been learnt.

Currently, the act does not allow for the expropriation of shares by the government for indigenisation purposes but allows for shares to be acquired at fair market value.

"The ministry and [the] government of Zimbabwe would like to revise materially, the policy and law on indigenisation and empowerment with respect to the acquisition of 51 percent shareholding in all non-indigenous businesses operating in the country," the proposed revisions read.

"The motivation for this position arises out of the desire to ensure that the people of Zimbabwe benefit fully, and without cost whatsoever, from enterprises that exploit their God-given natural resources.

"Government's endeavour in this regard is to realise shareholding in such non-indigenous businesses in exchange for natural resources, thereby creating enterprise partnerships between non-indigenous investors and indigenous entities based on contribution of resource of capital in the measure reflected in by our 51/49 percent law,"

However, on Wednesday, Kasukuwere denied that he was amending the legislation.

"The Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment ministry has not changed this legislation framework and any reports to the contrary are misleading and misguided," he said. 

"Some elements are at the centre of leaking a lot of unfortunate detail to the Press. What I can say is we will not relent [in giving] people their God-given resources and no one will change the course of the programme."

But the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe issued a statement saying it was unaware of the proposed amendments.

"As of now, the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe has not received any written communication or advised of the proposed changes, neither has it been advised by any of its members of receipt of such communication," said the chamber.

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