Harare, Zimbabwe — MININGREVIEW.COM — 28 March 2011 – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has vowed once again that his party will not back down from its controversial drive to force foreign-owned companies to sell majority shareholdings to local blacks.
Addressing supporters here at the burial of a senior government official, Mugabe said his ZANU-PF party regarded black economic empowerment as a key part of the national liberation struggle, dismissing fears that it would hurt economic recovery. “We are not stopping,” he said to cheers.
“So we are saying that we must take over our country, and that those partners, those outsiders, who want to work with us must do so as junior partners. We are the senior partners, no more the junior partners,” he added. “Those who also want to work for us, they are welcome.”
Mugabe has said previously that ZANU-PF will nationalise firms from countries that have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe, arguing that they cannot operate freely while Western powers punish his party over charges of rights abuses.
These threats have added to the worries of foreign investors in the resource-rich country, which has introduced a law specifying that 51% of firms worth over US$500,000 should be owned by black Zimbabweans..
“We are not afraid to declare our programme publicly. We are saying very openly, ‘Britain and America, this is our country and we have a right over its resources and we are taking control now’," Mugabe said.