Controversial Zimbabwe Indigenisation Regulations Suspended

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), on one hand, condemned the regulations saying they shattered every hope of luring desperately needed foreign capital while on the other hand Zanu (PF) and its leader President Robert Mugabe supported the regulations.

Cabinet sources told RadioVOP on Tuesday that Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa had been ordered to issue an instrument suspending the regulations.

“Cabinet has withdrawn the regulations until further notice to allow for further consultation,’ said a source.

Zanu (PF) hawks have been reported to have been eyeing some big foreign owned corporates and were likely to move in from Friday when the 45 day deadline for companies to file plans for ceding capital expires.

Tsvangirai, a former trade unionist seen as friendlier to business, compared to veteran President Robert Mugabe, said the unity government was reviewing empowerment laws announced last February and which sent foreign-owned business into panic with threats of stiff penalties against firms that fail to sell 51 percent stake to locals by March 2015.

Mugabe has backed the earlier version of the empowerment laws announced by Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, among the hawks in the President’s Zanu (PF) party.

Under the empowerment laws announced by Kasukuwere, foreign-owned firms have 45 days from March 1 to submit to plans showing how they will transfer shareholding to black Zimbabweans.

The Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono had denounced the regulations, saying they would scare off investors at a time when the country was seeking to revive its economy.