ZIMBABWE – Harare – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has announced that foreign-owned companies have until 2016 to submit their empowerment proposals to government, the state-controlled Herald newspaper has reported.
Speaking at the 15th Annual National People’s Conference in Victoria Falls over the weekend, Mugabe said government would not tolerate any attempts to defy Zimbabwe’s indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act.
Mugabe said that sanctions imposed on the sub-Saharan country only strengthen government’s resolve in making full use of its resources.
Zimbabwe introduced its controversial indigenisation law in 2007. The law states that foreign-owned companies operating in the country should hand a 51% shareholding to local partners to reverse imbalances resulting from colonialism.
Mugabe’s critics say the policy is the chief cause of investor aversion with some saying the indigenisation campaign has been fraught with ambiguity and corruption on a grand scale.
Despite pressure from internal structures as well as foreign interests, Mugabe has remained steadfast, saying that his country has its own ideologies and will continue to share its resources among its people.
The statesman said that companies should abide by empowerment laws, adding that government or locals must have a 51% share in projects that involve the utilization of the country’s natural resources.
Despite his Pan-African stance being perceived by some as being too harsh, Mugabe has ensured the public that his ideologies have gained him respect globally.
According to an All Africa report, over 300 000 locals have benefited from the land reform programme and government will continue with its drive to ensure that Zimbabweans get a share in foreign-owned companies.