Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Zimbabwe's Attorney General Threatens Foreign Owned Companies

Harare, December 21, 2009 -Zimbabwe's Attorney General Johannes Tomana has threatened to prosecute any foreign owned company that tries to resist the government's indigenisation law that requires them to give 51 percent shareholding to locals.

This comes at a time when there are reports that six workers belonging to First Lady, Grace Mugabe's Farm recently stormed Nestle Zimbabwe and demanded it to buy milk from the farm. The company stopped buying milk from the controversial farm after an international outrage, following reports that the company was buying milk from the First Family's farm, which was acquired through force.
The ZANU-PF sponsored black business lobby group Affirmative Group has since demanded the indigenisation of Nestle Private company after it terminated its milk buying tender with Gushungo Holdings farm.
Tomana, who is one of the outstanding issues threatening the country's nine month old coalition government, told delegates attending a Christmas donation at the weekend, organised by Nigerians living in Zimbabwe, that any foreign owned company which attempted to resist the indigenisation act would be prosecuted.
"We are a sovereign country that has laws which need to be respected. At the moment we have an Indigenisation Act that aims to empower our citizens economically and foreign nationals who fail to honour and respect it will be liable to prosecution. We are ready to do business with foreigners on condition they abide to the country's laws like this one which is a reality and we urge foreigners to take cognisant of this otherwise they are vulnerable,” said Tomana.

Political analysts say the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act is a political gimmick meant to gunner support for the liberation ZANU-PF party. The objective of the Act is to achieve at least 51% indigenous shareholding in all strategic businesses of the economy.

Addressing international investors in Harare recently the minister of Youth Development Indigenisation and Empowerment Saviour Kasukuwere said his ministry was identifying foreign owned companies that needed to be indigenised.

Kasukuwere also warned foreign owned companies to desist from resisting indigenisation.

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