The Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda this week saved Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Francis Nhema the blushes when he said that Nhema did not have to answer a question about whether Zimbabwe had changed its indigenisation policy because President Robert Mugabe had clearly stated the policy.
Nhema had been asked by Mutoko South Member of Parliament David Chapfika to re-state the government policy on indigenisation because recently there had been various voices from various ministers “showing signals that would confuse and deter investors in that other ministers will be saying, this policy is going to be reviewed and others will be saying, this policy will continue”.
Mudenda said he did not know whether Nhema had anything to add because the highest office in the land, Mugabe, had on more than two occasions pronounced what the indigenisation law should be and ought to be interpreted.
Nhema said he did not have anything to add.
Mugabe said indigenisation was meant to empower and integrate the majority of the people into the mainstream economy. It was aimed at achieving inclusive growth, sustainable development and social equity.
There was never going to be any expropriation or nationalisation of shares held by non-indigenous persons in companies as some of the detractors of the programme wanted the world to believe. Any equity that an indigenous person takes up will be disposed of at fair value.
“With this clarification,” Mugabe said. “Let me take this opportunity to invite potential investors to come and do business in Zimbabwe in which there is huge potential for joint venture partnerships between investors, manufacturers, industrialist and the public sector. We want investment from abroad.”
Q & A:
MR. CHAPFIKA: My question is directed to the Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Hon. Nhema. Hon. Minister, would you re-state the policy of Government on indigenisation. In the immediate past, we have heard various voices coming from various Ministers showing signals that would confuse and deter investors in that other Ministers will be saying, this policy is going to be reviewed and others will be saying, this policy will continue. I think it is in the national interest and also in the interest of the business community for that policy to be re-stated. Secondly, hon. Minister, in view of the liquidity challenges – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. I will give the hon. member the benefit of a doubt, with the view that in fact the highest office of this land actually pronounced, I think on more than two occasions what the indigenisation law should be and ought to be interpreted. I do not know if Hon. Nhema would want to add anything?
THE MINISTER OF YOUTH, INDIGENISATION AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT (MR. NHEMA): No, Mr. Speaker. MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.