Tourists Arrivals Affected By Indigenisation

Speaking to Radio VOP in the resort town on Thursday, Nyamambi said there is a rapid decrease of foreign tourist arrivals in the Victoria Falls since Zanu (PF) started threats of taking over foreign companies last year.

“When the inclusive government was formed in 2009 tourist’s arrivals improved, but since Zanu (PF) started threats of violently grabbing foreign companies last year, we have seen a rapid decrease in foreign tourists’ arrivals here. Tourists are very sensitive people they don’t want to go where they don’t feel safe, so most of them now prefer to view the falls from Zambian side,” said Nyamambi.

Nyamambi who belongs to MDC-T added: “Zanu (PF) never learns when they violently grab land in 2000, Zimbabwe was left with almost zero tourists and now they want the same situation to happen.”

Under a controversial economic indigenisation and empowerment law that came into force in 2010 foreign-owned firms must sell at least 51 percent shares to indigenous black Zimbabweans or face a host of punitive measures including fines or withdrawal of operating licences.

Mugabe’s previous government used its majority in Parliament in 2007 to pass the indigenisation law requiring all foreign-owned companies to cede at least 51 percent of their shares to black Zimbabweans.

Critics say the empowerment campaign is a ploy by Mugabe to seize thriving businesses and hand them over to his allies as a reward for support much in the same way that the veteran leader’s land reforms were executed in the name of the people but benefited his top lieutenants the most.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who says he is for genuine indigenisation of the economy that benefits ordinary Zimbabweans, has castigated Mugabe’s empowerment drive as “looting by a greedy elite”.