The Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment cannot change the country’s indigenisation law as that can only be done by Parliament, the Deputy Minister Mathias Tongofa said yesterday.
He had been asked by Kambuzuma legislator Willias Madzimure what his ministry was doing to change the law to promote foreign direct investment as the law was scaring investors away.
Tongofa said he did not believe that the environment for business was affected by the indigenisation law as Madzimure implied but added that the law was passed by Parliament. His ministry was only there to administer the law.
“We are not tasked to change the law. What we do is administer the law as it is. If Parliament changes the law, then we administer the new law as per the changes,” he said.
Zimbabwe requires local to own 51 percent of all major investments though there have been exceptions.
Q & A:
MR. MADZIMURE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment and in his absence, I direct it to his deputy. It has now become evident that Foreign Direct Investment in Zimbabwe is not coming and it has been proven that it is not going to come in the near future because of a number of issues. There is one issue of the Indigenisation Act that pertains to the Ministry. Concerns around the world for investors are that it is difficult for them to invest in Zimbabwe because of the 51 percent stake that a Zimbabwean should have in a business that would have been brought by someone else from outside.
We have heard the Minister giving promises that the law is going to be revisited…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. member, can you please ask a question?
MR. MADZIMURE: The question is: when is the Minister going to intervene and make sure that the law is conducive for investment?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT (MR. TONGOFA): Thank you Madam Speaker. The hon. member’s question is a good one but I would like to say, the environment for business is not affected by an Indigenisation Act as he portrays. The law itself came from Parliament the Ministry is only administering the law which was passed by Parliament. We are not tasked to change the law. What we do is administer the law as it is. If Parliament changes the law, then we administer the new law as per the changes.
MR. MADZIMURE: Madam Speaker, Parliament debates laws that are brought by the Executive. It appears the Minister does not know
that he originates a Bill that comes to Parliament. I have asked – when are you going to review the law as it is clear that it is an impediment to investment?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: The Hon. Minister has answered the question and he was very clear.