Zimbabwe could introduce empowerment levy, says Nhema

via Govt could introduce empowerment levy, says Nhema | The Source on June 5, 2014

Indigenisation minister Francis Nhema on Thursday hinted that the government could introduce a levy to finance empowerment initiatives.

The indigenisation law, which demands a 51-49 threshold in favour of black locals in foreign-owned businesses, has been criticised for blocking the flow of fresh capital into Zimbabwe’s moribund economy.

Government has previously admitted that locals have no money to pay for shares in the companies. Nhema, who was addressing a forum on the indigenisation law, said the levy would allow people to create new wealth.

“What I am going to say might cause you discomfort but I am thinking of (an) empowerment levy so that we then empower the people to create their own wealth. You can never keep distributing what you have already distributed,” he said.

Pressed for further comment on the proposed levy, Nhema said: “Really I said it out of humour…, there is no levy coming, I have not asked for it yet.”

He refused to comment on recent statements made by fellow ministers that government intended to amend the empowerment law to make it more investor friendly.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and information minister Jonathan Moyo have said changes would soon be introduced and that Nhema had been tasked with ensuring that the amendments were effected.

Nhema said: “Why do you hustle me? Let me give you what is mine. I would not want to comment on what Jesus said on the mountain, I was not there.”

He said most people who criticised the indigenisation law, passed in 2008, had not bothered to read the statute.

He said most investors were more worried about policy consistency and not the law itself.

“We have to be consistent so that the investor will come knowing what to expect and not get surprises,” he said.

Nhema said the law was not cast in stone and that it was not a one size fits all.

He said the major difference on compliance was that demands for investors in the resource sectors such as mining were different from the non-resource sectors.

“We have already said we have an asset in those resources. In our negotiations, those resources form the 51 percent,” he said.

The shareholding structure in non-resource sector was more flexible but would in the long term be expected to comply with the 51-49 percent threshold, he said.

“We are not here to shut down companies; it is not in our interest. We are not here to victimise anyone,” he said.

“But in the process of achieving our goals, there are people who might not understand them and we have misunderstandings.”

Ambassadors mainly from western countries also attended the meeting and sought clarifications on the law from Nhema.



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    No clarification in the laws rather a tax on companies so they can pay for other to reap what they have not earned. Who will that be I wonder?

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    roving ambassador. 9 years ago

    My word , they are truly fishing in the dark. Nhema makes a policy statement ,then realises he cannot explain himself and claims it was a joke. the whole Zanu is a joke . What do you call a party led by a 90 year old? ZANU.

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    zanupf fear me 9 years ago

    Next they will tax the air non zanoids breathe. Or levy when we have a daily dump. Or tax us having sex

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      Oh please I hope not..a sex tax would destroy the only pleasure some of us have left.
      -too funny!

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    mandevu 9 years ago

    Nhema. Your right. It causes me great discomfort and every other thinking Zimbabwean. We are going to levy you until you have nothing left to give.

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    Macemike 9 years ago

    Rural electrification levy, aids levy , Sam levy etc etc etc

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    Tjingababili 9 years ago


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    Yep! Nhema. Fleece us some more. ZPF should just go. Is there no shame. How many are sleeping in this cold weather without a roof because of you but sure as hang you lot ill find another 3 mil for RGM to float off to the Far East. Come judgment day! Come

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    Petal 9 years ago

    Levy the geriatic bufoon at the top

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    If Zimbabwe wants to escape from the swamp it’s sunk into, the first step should be to reduce all levies on individuals and companies. It’s too expensive to run a business already. Why mister minister do you think companies continue to shut down and the economy is grinding to a complete halt? It’s because the taxes and levies collected by the government are excessive.

    And no motorist should have to pay anything at a roadblock. If there is a legitimate violation, the police officers should document it and the motorist should pay later or be able to contest the fine and have it cancelled. There must be a transparent paper trail or it’s just extortion by the police.

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    John Thomas 9 years ago

    Nhema you are ZANU offal. Stick yor levy right up your…

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    Everybody seems to agree that the law is very wooley and a tangled mess but so far I have not heard anyone so much as attempt to untangle it.It seems to me that the intepretation of this law is very subjective and can be changed depending on which side of the bed the different Ministers or Mugabe wakes up on. Who wants to commit their money in such a fluid ever changing mess?

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    Empowerment levy for what? You guys looted even the money meant to empower youth (youth empowerment fund) Go get that money back from the looters and use it instead. This Government is worse than a prostitute. Take take take is all they do.

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