via Debate on indigenisation in bad taste: Nhema May 29, 2014 by Tarisai Mandizha NewsDay
INDIGENISATION and Economic Empowerment minister Francis Nhema has expressed concern over the current indigenisation debate saying it was being discussed through inappropriate channels.
This follows media reports quoting Information Minister Jonathan Moyo as saying government was in the process of reviewing the indigenisation and empowerment policy with a view to tone it down.
Speaking at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe Chief Finance Officers’ Forum on Tuesday, Nhema said the whole debate was not supposed to be in the public domain.
“The debate in the paper left a sour taste in my mouth,” Nhema told delegates “It was not the place to discuss it.”
Nhema said the need for the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme was a direct consequence of the colonial experience and seeks to achieve the economic aspirations of the majority of the people for a better life and thereby guarantee their dignity as a people.
“When you look at indigenisation, don’t take it as an event, but take it as a lifestyle. Look at it on the improvements on the standards of living of our people.
Indigenisation is an ongoing process, don’t say it ends here and it begins here. But the whole issue is to improve the standards of living of our people. Indigenisation is not a two-year or five-year plan, but is a lifestyle, we have to improve the standards of living for our people,” Nhema said.
He, however, said the fundamental principle underlying implementation of the indigenisation and economic empowerment legislation was that the law provides that any equity being disposed of to indigenous investors shall be disposed of for value at mutually agreed terms and government was not involved in these discussions regarding commercial aspects of any transaction.
“Therefore, if an investor brings in $100 million, the indigenous parties do not take away $51 million from the foreign investor, but are expected to inject their own capital amounting to 51% of the business.”
He emphasised that government did not impose indigenous partners on foreign investors.