“Yes I can confirm that at least 600 firms have applied …” Savioiur Kasukuwere, Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Development said.
He said the government was now working on adjusting the new mining regulations which had caused “alarm and despondency” among the foreign investing public.
Locals have to get at least 51 percent of all companies operating in Zimbabwe under the new regulations.
Kasukuwere said things were working well despite some foreign firms threatening to pull out.
He said they were however adjusting some regulations mainly in the mining industry which were rather harsh according to foreigners who want to invest in Zimbabwe.
He said govenmnet would publish the new regulations before the end of the month for all to be able to read and understand.
“We need to rectify a few issues,” he said from Gweru. “We will show the public what we are doing and it is all transparent.”
Foreigners have been uneasy about the new regulations which have come into effect in Zimbabwe.
Kasukuwere led the decision to indigenise the economy but this has been met with mixed reactiuon mainly from foreingers with a huge stake in many firms operating in Zimbabwe. Some have threatened to pull out while others have withheld their investments.
Zanu (PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have differed on the new regulations. Tsvangirai said they were going back to the drawing board with the regulations but President Mugabe has insisted there was no reversal of the controversial policy as it was aimed at correcting historical imbalances in Zimbabwe’s economy.
Zimbabwe, has failed to raise funds it appealed to the international community to revive its battered economy following a decade long political instability. Some donors have said they will give funds after full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) entered into by Zanu (PF) and the two MDCs, to form the inclusive government in 2009. The GPA has been stalled because of lack of agreement, by the political parites, to a number of outstanding issues, which include the refusal by Mugabe to swear in the MDC’s treasurer general, Roy Bennett as deputy minister of Agriculture, and the demand by Zanu (PF) to remove sanctions, among other issues.
Although, there has been improvement in inflation following the decision to dump the use of the worthless Zimbabwe dollar, in favour of multiple currencies, unemployment is still high. Although shops are well stocked with food, most people are unable to afford particularly civil servants who are among the lowest paid, earning between US$ 160 and 250.