chapfika 06-12-10.jpgZimbabweans have been urged not to collude with foreign-owned companies who have to comply with the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act.

In an interview, National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board chairman, Cde David Chapfika, said the act is supposed to empower Zimbabweans through acquisition of stakes in foreign companies.

 

Cde Chapfika said allowing foreigners to own the economy gives them the opportunity to hold the country at ransom as was the case at the height of the illegal sanctions when foreign firms starved the market of basic commodities.

 

“There was a time when Zimbabweans had to go to Botswana to buy fuel after foreign fuel companies stopped supplying the market. Government later realised that there was need for local players to venture into the energy sector and facilitated the entry,” said Cde Chapfika.

 

He said if the economy continues to be in the hands of foreigners the liquidity challenges that Zimbabwe is facing will continue as foreign firms are externalising money.

 

Cde Chapfika also took a swipe at Finance Minister Tendai Biti, whose ministry has availed only US$230 000 towards the indigenisation programme from the US5 million dollars allocated under the budget.

 

Speaking at the same occasion, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans must embrace indigenisation as they have been sidelined from participating in the economy for a long time.

 

He said Zimbabwe’s vast mineral resources can propel Zimbabwe’s economic recovery as is the case in South Africa, where mining
royalties have been used to transform communities.

 

The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act mandates that foreign firms cede 51 percent of their shareholding to indigenous Zimbabweans.