Mujuru Defends BEE Plan

Mujuru addressed delegates at the Business Conference of the just-ended Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, reassuring them that the government was flexible and willing to take suggestions on the act.
“Concern has been raised on our indigenisation and economic empowerment programme. There has been focus on the distribution rather than on new investments,” she said in her address.
“Our thrust is not unique to Zimbabwe but is common throughout the world, including our neighboring states,” she said.

Concern so far centres on threats by some elements within Zanu-PF to grab foreign-owned companies in a fashion reminiscent of the chaotic land reform programme. However, Mujuru denied that the Indigenisation Act was a special Zanu-PF project.
“Every Zimbabwean has to benefit from the act,” she said.
Matabeleland Chamber of Industries president Dr Ruth Labode challenged Mujuru and the government to publish a full list of people who would benefit.

“Things should be done in a transparent manner. We would like to see a published list of people who have benefited from the act to know that it is non-partisan,” said Labode.
Mujuru came to the conference to convince delegates to embrace the BEE (black economic empowerment) law. The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) noted that parties in government were not speaking with one voice.
“The government is issuing conflicting statements in the indigenisation drive. Those from Zanu-PF are using it as a tool to fight the West, while on the other hand the MDC says it is illegal occupation of other people’s properties. Can we have the government speaking with one voice on this issue,” said CZI president Joseph Kanyekanye.

A big fear for foreign investors is that there is no security in Zimbabwe, since the government often changes its standpoint when it comes to foreigners and their investments.
However, Mujuru tried to assure investors. “The government of Zimbabwe welcomes investors and assures them that their investment is safe in Zimbabwe. There are laws that safeguard and protect private property and these will continue to be respected,” said Mujuru.