ZIMBABWE – The countrys new indigenisation minister has vowed to push on with President Robert Mugabe’s controversial programme for black empowerment, state media reported Saturday.
Patrick Zhuwao, who is Mugabe’s nephew, told the Herald newspaper: “As you are aware, this Zanu PF government was elected on a mandate of indigenisation, empowerment and employment creation.
“So I believe that it will be my responsibility to ensure that we continue with that programme of indigenisation as articulated by His Excellency [Mugabe]”, Zhuwao said.
The well-known businessman and farmer said he would “pick up” where his predecessor left off, a reference to Christopher Mushohwe who was named information minister in Friday’s cabinet reshuffle.
Mushohwe recently signalled a slight softening on indigenisation, which requires all large white and foreign-owned businesses to cede a 51% stake to local black businessmen.
Critics and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change believe the policy is scaring off desperately-needed foreign investment, and some in the ruling party share that view.
Jacob Mudenda, a member of Zanu PF and Speaker of Parliament, was quoted calling for urgent amendments to the indigenisation laws “to make it easy for investors to invest in Zimbabwe”.