Zim warns firms to cede stakes

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AFP

File photo: CEO of the world's second-largest platinum produce, Implats, David Brown (L) and Zimbabwe's Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere hold a joint press conference in Harare.

Zimbabwe warned on Wednesday that foreign companies that fail to cede majority stakes to locals as required by a controversial law risk being prosecuted.

The Minister of Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Saviour Kasukuwere said some businesses had ignored the law and reminded them to “realise the folly of what they are doing.”

“I wish to make it clear that the law will take its course in such matters of deliberate disregard of the rule of law,” said Kasukuwere during an economic conference in the capital Harare, attended by President Robert Mugabe.

Kasukuwere said anyone who “does not want to comply with the laws of this country or associate themselves with the aspirations of black Zimbabweans has no place in the affairs of our country.”

The two-year-old law forces foreign companies to cede 51 percent of their shares to indigenous Zimbabweans.

“This programme is irreplaceable as it is founded on the ideals of our independence struggle.”

Several companies like Zimplats, the Zimbabwean unit of South African's Impala Platinum, have submitted their plans to hand over majority shares to local people.

The programme is at the centre of a dispute between Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who formed a coalition government three years ago after disputed polls.

Tsvangirai has said the law will drive away foreign investment, as the country is recovering from a decade-long economic collapse. - AFP


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