Teachers Demand Shares In Foreign Companies

The controversial economic Indigenisation and Empowerment law that came into effect in 2010 requires foreign-owned firms to give at least 51 percent shares to indigenous black Zimbabweans or face a host of punitive measures including fines or withdrawal of operating licences.

Speaking to journalists in Bulawayo on Thursday, during the opening of ZIMTA four day national annual conference, Chikowore said: “We also want to be included in this Indigenisation programme. We have realised that this programme is only benefiting the private sector. So we want the government to give teachers a stake in these foreign companies which are being grabbed.”

“When you look at the statutory instruments, it is clear that civil servants are not allowed to engage in business. We therefore want to interrogate the government to engage in dialogue with us, and tell us how they are considering civil servants. We want to find out if government has made any provisions to ensure that we are not left behind as far as economic empowerment is concerned.”

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sifiso Ndlovu said: “Clearly there is a focus on workers where they are talking about privatisation and community ownership. We need to find out what programmes are being put in place for civil servants. Are we going to have shares in government companies…such as the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA)?”

Last week, Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere announced that government had taken over all mines that had failed to comply with the country’s indigenisation laws which require all foreign-owned firms to cede 51 percent of their shares to indigenous blacks.

The four day ZIMTA national annual conference is being held under the theme “Enhancing the status of teachers through Economic Empowerment” and there are more than 200 delegates from the country’s 10 provinces attending.