Is the government abandoning indigenisation or tightening it?


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It depends on who you listen to. The Sunday Mail today said the government had made a major climb-down. Information Minister Jonathan Moyo says: “Not at all. I don’t know or understand where that suggestion is coming from. It would be sheer folly for anybody to imagine that we would abandon or ditch a policy or programme that was overwhelmingly endorsed by the electorate in unprecedented numbers as recently as 31 July 2013. We are reviewing and tightening the indigenisation and empowerment policy by being pragmatic without being dogmatic about it. In any event, the record should show that we did acknowledge in our election manifesto — you can find that on Page 35 — that, while the law is clear that at least 51 percent of the shares or ownership of every public company and any other business shall be owned by indigenous Zimbabweans, there has been some confusion and misunderstanding over the modalities for achieving this threshold. Consequently, we pointed out that, going forward there is a need to review, tighten and strengthen both the law and policy to, among other things, clarify the fact that the indigenous Zimbabweans cannot be expected or required to buy back their God-given natural or economic resources. This is why we have been having this review and tightening process under Zim Asset.” But Moyo says the government has identified two approaches to implement indigenisation. These are the Production Sharing Model (PSM) and the Joint Empowerment Investment Model (JEIM). Whatever the case, The Insider warned last year that it is now easier for the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front to sell-out now that it has the vote in the bag. But the party knows that the Zimbabwean electorate is not dumb. It can ditch the party, despite its two-thirds majority, like it did in 2008.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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