via Govt ‘indigenises air’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe January 6, 2016
GOVERNMENT has, under its revised frameworks, procedures and guidelines for implementing the Indigenisation Act, broadened its definition of natural resources to include air, grass, birds and swamps, a move that local analysts yesterday described as “ridiculous”.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa announced the new framework on Monday at a Press conference he jointly addressed with Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya.
Renowned economist John Robertson yesterday said: “This exposes government to ridicule by inviting such criticism. It also shows shallow thinking on their part because one would not understand what they are trying to say when they include air and birds.”
Robertson said the document was done by people who lacked business understanding and expertise and should not even be in the offices they hold.
“It shows that it was drafted by people who should not have done the job and lack any expertise or knowledge on how business operates,” he said.
Chinamasa said the new framework will now give emphasis to reserved sectors, which would now be 100% controlled by locals.
No new foreign investors, except with Cabinet approval, will be allowed into invest in the fuel retail business, advertising, tobacco grading and packaging, milk processing, grain milling and artisanal mining of all minerals except diamonds.
Robertson said the fuel retail business was a high cost area and required heavy capital injection and expertise.
“The moment government opened fuel import licences to local players, we have seen most of them close shop, the same scenario we saw in the banking sector, where local banks folded. Government should leave areas of business to those with the capital and expertise, so that we can begin to create employment,” he said.
Opposition MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu said the new frameworks “exposed the drafters’ shallow minds”.
“Of course, that betrays the professional incompetence of whoever drafted those regulations. Legal drafting is an art. It has to be concise and precise.
“It shouldn’t leave room for vagueness, absurdity and ambiguity. Obviously, that particular portion of the regulations has to be promptly amended in order to make it rational and sensible. How can one possibly indigenise a commodity such as air?” queried Gutu?