Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Indigenization regulations “absurd” says Zimbabwe’s parliament

Indigenization regulations “absurd” says Zimbabwe’s parliament

Jun 10, 2011, 15:07 GMT

Harare – The Zimbabwean parliament declared Friday that regulations seeking 
to nationalize foreign-owned companies were ‘unconstitutional, unreasonable 
and absurd,’ and called for them to be repealed or revised.

The law, which would force all foreign-owned companies to cede their 
majority stake to black Zimbabweans, was proposed by Youth, Indigenization 
and Economic Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

‘We now expect the minister to come to parliament and tell us what he 
(plans) to do,’ said Shepherd Mushonga, the head of a cross-party 
parliamentary legal committee.

Kasukuwere was unavailable for comment.

President Robert Mugabe and Kasukuwere say the move is necessary to ensure 
black Zimbabweans benefit from the country’s lucrative mineral resources.

The southern African country is rich in minerals including diamonds, 
uranium, chrome, platinum and gold. The empowerment drive is targeting major 
companies, including Anglo American, Rio Tinto, Implats and Nestle.

Most companies have adopted a wait-and-see attitude, putting expansion and 
retooling plans on hold until there is clarity on how the empowerment plan 
will be executed.

Firms that fail to disclose how they plan to transfer shares within the 
stipulated period face prosecution, according to the empowerment 

‘The unanimous finding of the committee is that this statutory instrument is 
both unconstitutional and ultra vires (beyond legal authority),’ reads a 
report by the Mushonga-led committee.

They said the hefty penalties imposed by the law were ‘grossly 
disproportionate’ to the offences, and therefore ‘inhumane and degrading.’

The imposition of prison terms for offenders was ‘unreasonable and absurd,’ 
the committee wrote, adding that this was unconstitutional, as it neglected 
the right to the protection of the law.

Mushonga said in an interview that the regulations gave the minister of 
indigenization ‘too much’ power, as they allowed him to impose a penalty on 
businesses which is supposed to be administered by parliament.

Veritas, a legal monitoring organization, said that the regulations could be 
challenged in the Supreme Court if Mugabe did not repeal them.



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