Controversial `indigenisation` law takes effect

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
1 March 2010

The controversial indigenisation law that forces foreign-owned companies to sell a majority stake in their businesses to indigenous people comes into effect on Monday.

The Indigenisation and Empowerment Bill was passed by Parliament in 2007 and signed by Mugabe in 2008 before the creation of an inclusive government. Among other things, the regulations demand that all foreign and locally owned companies hand over at least 51 percent ownership to black Zimbabweans.
The law requires every existing business, partnership, association or sole proprietorship with an asset value of US$500 000 or more to submit a report to Youth Development, Empowerment and Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere by April 15. Defaulters might face a fine and/or imprisonment for up to five years.

Mugabe defended the new regulations on Saturday, saying they were meant to correct historical imbalances. He told hundreds of supporters at his 86th birthday celebrations in Bulawayo that the indigenisation policy, like the land reform programme, was meant to correct historical imbalances in the ownership of the country’s resources.

“This policy is not meant to nationalise companies but to [continue reading]

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