This will be a major climbdown by President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party, who have insisted that there is no going back on the regulations.
Inside sources confirmed that Kasukuwere was forced to drop his initial regulations which were widely viewed as elitist. The amended version is said to be structured along the lines of South Africa’s Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE), which was enacted in 2007 following complaints that its predecessor the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Act benefited only a small black elite.
“The changes have already been through a number of channels and if all goes according to plan they should be presented the Council of Ministers on Thursday, March 25,” said a source close to the changes.
According to the source, close to ten changes have been made touching timeframes for the implementation of thresholds for different sectors.
“The regulations will not be presented in a blanket manner as was the case,” added the source.
“Each sector will come up with its own thresholds and time frames for implementation, and there will be strict mechanisms to ensure that those who have already benefited from previous empowerment schemes like Philip Chiyangwa and Kasukuwere himself do not benefit alone at the expense of ordinary Zimbabweans,” said the source.
Instead of only considering blacks as indigenous, the revised law will also accommodate those whites who have known only Zimbabwe as their own home.
Kasukuwere could not be reached for comment, but the source said he had already completed the changes. Once they are presented to the Council of Ministers, which comprises all members of Cabinet except President Robert Mugabe, the provisions will be further discussed at a Cabinet meeting on March 29, before being taken to Cabinet for rubber stamping the following day.
There was a chorus of complaints from all corners after Kasukuwere unilaterally gazetted the regulations. It was widely feared that the regulations would repel potential foreign investors who were beginning to gain some confidence in the country following the success of the inclusive government.