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YOUTH and indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao says government is not going to tolerate any debate on the economic empowerment law.
A furious Zhuwao who appeared to be taking a dig at finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, told hundreds of cheering Zanu PF sympathisers attending his economic empowerment conference in Harare Friday that those wishing for the reversal of the law were ‘dreaming’.
Chinamasa is on record saying that government was revising the controversial black empowerment law which is blamed for the country’s low foreign investment levels.
“I am saying this to those who are dreaming and thinking after meeting with the white community at their embassies after being given some glasses of wine and start promising them that we will reverse it (indigenisation). Who are you to reverse it?” said a visibly angry Zhuwao.
“This is a journey which was started by great leaders like the late Joshua Nkomo and President Robert Mugabe and it’s not like appearing on television and attending conferences.”
Enacted into law in 2007, the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act which ceded 51% equity to locals in foreign business ventures has been blamed for poor response from foreign investors.
Government has been issuing conflicting statements on the policy until recently when Chinamasa publicly announced to the international financial institutions and the European Union that plans were underway to revise the controversial law.
But, considering Zhuwao’s statement, hopes of having the law revised may have evaporated.
“I was given the job and my task is not to debate about the law and there is no discussion about indigenisation. My role is to implement,” said Zhuwao.
There has been a public outcry that the black empowerment law was being used to cede foreign owned business entities to only a chosen few selected Zanu PF linked individuals.
Zhuwao is President Robert Mugabe’s nephew and this is not the first time he has attacked Chinamasa.
A month ago, Zhuwao joined war vets minister Christopher Mutsvangwa to attack the finance minister who is largely seen as more conciliatory towards the West which has shut its doors to Harare since the turn of the century.
Through Chinamasa’s initiative, Zimbabwe has managed to get the IMF and the World Bank to commit to bailing out the troubled country. source-newzimbabwe