tapiwa mashakada and tendai biti.jpgFinance Minister Tendai Biti and Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minster Tapiwa Mashakada have defended the indigenisation law telling foreign investors that there is nothing wrong with the piece of legislation as it seeks to economically empower indigenous Zimbabweans.

Although there have been previous disagreements in the inclusive government over the indigenisation and empowerment law, government ministers attending the ongoing Euro-money Zimbabwe Investment Conference have assured foreign firms that there is nothing wrong with the law as it seeks to give locals a share of the national cake.

Speaking at the Euro-money Investment Conference in Harare, Minister Biti cleared the air on indigenisation highlighting that the law intends to empower the previously disadvantaged majority and not to expropriate investments as some sections believe.

He said: “There is nowhere in the law where it talks of expropriating or nationalising foreign companies, but it seeks to give economic power to the black majority.”

Mr Mashakada said the country has made a lot of progress towards achieving macro-economic stabilisation in the past two years but these developments are being overshadowed by negative sentiments.

“If you look anywhere else in the world, there is no such thing as a perfect investment. We as Zimbabweans are trying to rebuild our brand. Of course there are still vestiges of negative perceptions about Zimbabwe, but I think positive developments are being downplayed by the negatives,” said Mashakada.

The indigenisation and empowerment law promulgated in 2008 requires companies with an asset threshold of US$500 000 to have 51 per cent local ownership.

Different interpretations and misconceptions have however created skepticism of the law among investors.
The Euro-money Investment Conference has been viewed as a platform to correct misconceptions for those interested in investing in Zimbabwe.