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Deeply-Divided Cabinet Skirts Indigenization Debate

Deeply-Divided Cabinet Skirts Indigenization Debate

10 July 2012

Blessing Zulu | Washington

Zimbabwe’s deeply-divided cabinet, meeting Tuesday following President 
Robert Mugabe’s return from Singapore, avoided the contentious issue of 
indigenization to focus on other social and economic issues.

Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who sparked the row, is said to 
be climbing down after intense pressure from his opponents in the inclusive 

Cabinet sources told Studio 7 that on the agenda of the cabinet meeting was 
a report on inputs, mines, energy, cotton prices, parliament and the 
long-delayed new constitution.

The indigenization issue was shelved as it was feared it would only widen 
cracks in the unity government, the sources said.

Kasukuwere touched off a storm with a government notice last week ordering 
foreign banks to reduce shareholding in their Zimbabwe operations to the 49 
percent within a year as required by the law.

But Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai – backed by Finance Minister Tendai 
Biti and Reserve Bank chief Gideon Gono – declared the notice “null and 

The Tsvangirai camp is urging a cautious approach, arguing that applying the 
51% local ownership threshold to banking could destabilize a sensitive and 
key sector of the country’s struggling economy.

Both Gono and Kasukuwere had promised to approach cabinet and President 
Mugabe to intervene.

But Kasukuwere, who had vowed to side-step Biti and Gono, and deal directly 
with the investors has reportedly climbed down saying he will now consult 
the two.

Economist Prosper Chitambara of the Labour and Economic Development Research 
Institute of Zimbabwe says Kasukuwere’s position is dangerous for the 


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