Harare, Zimbabwe — MININGREVIEW.COM — 09 November 2009 – President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party still plans to introduce a law that will force foreign-owned companies to allocate a majority stake to black Zimbabweans.
“Any foreign-owned company worth more than US$500 000 (R4 million) will be required to transfer 51% ownership to black Zimbabweans within 60 days,” according to a draft law published here that seeks to amend and enforce the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act, passed by parliament in 2007.
“Any business that fails within the 60-day period to enter into a transaction that results in 51% being held by indigenous Zimbabweans shall within the following 30 days submit a proposal on how it intends to achieve compliance with the Act,” the proposed regulations state.
Zimbabwe finance minister Tendai Biti “’a member of the Movement for Democratic Change party in the power-sharing national government “’ said he was unaware of the government proposal.
“I have not seen that law, and certainly it has not been discussed in Cabinet, so it will be very difficult to comment on something that is speculative,” Biti said in an interview in Maputo. Zimbabwe’s Youth and Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere “’ who drafted the proposed regulations “’ did not answer calls to his office when Bloomberg News sought comment.
“The signal the proposed law sends to investors and businesses already in Zimbabwe is extremely negative,” Harare- based economist John Robertson said in a phone interview.
Bloomberg News was told there was no one available to comment on the proposed regulations when it called the local units of Barclays Bank Plc and Standard Chartered Plc.