Fin24

Business warns Mugabe against seizures

2010-12-21 16:00

Harare - A leading business group on Tuesday urged President Robert Mugabe not to seize Zimbabwe-based firms from Western countries in opposing the sanctions imposed on him and his party.

Last week Mugabe had made such a threat while addressing the annual congress of his Zanu-PF party.

Under existing economic empowerment and indigenisation laws, foreign-owned businesses have to be 51% owned by black Zimbabweans.

Mugabe has warned that unless sanctions are removed he would aim to seize complete control over the firms.

"He (Mugabe) might have a point on sanctions, but a retaliatory approach will not work," said Joseph Kanyekanye, head of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, the country's largest business group.

Engagement with the West was "critical" as more foreign investment and access to capital from abroad were needed to bolster any recovery in Zimbabwe, Kanyekanye said.

"The economy must not suffer as a result of indigenisation," he told reporters.

In 2002, Western countries imposed so-called smart sanctions on Mugabe and some top party officials, which Zanu-PF blames for Zimbabwe's deep economic woes.

Minister of Indigenisation and Empowerment Saviour Kasukuwere has argued that seizing Western-owned companies would not worsen the economy.

"Gone are the days when our resources are being exploited and nothing is coming to us," Kasukuwere said. "If they (the West) continue with their sanctions, we will also give sanctions."

The indigenisation laws have sparked fierce differences in the fragile coalition government, with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of the rival Movement for Democratic Change opposing the laws. 

Comments
  • slg - 2010-12-21 16:49

    It's uncanny how these guys sound the same as our Apartheid leaders of the past. If only they knew. :)

  • viparo - 2010-12-21 17:42

    Funniest is, the sanctions are imposed against mugabe and his mates, not trade. So using that excuse is ridiculous to say the least. Keep grabbing until there's nothing left to grab my idiotic friend.

  • DT - 2010-12-21 18:00

    "Minister of *Indigenisation* and Empowerment Saviour Kasukuwere has argued that seizing Western-owned companies would not worsen the economy. [ROFLOL!!!! You go right ahead Saviour! Old mad Bob has done more for population control there in his fiefdom than any western population control program could, and this would just help even more. Do it my Friend, do it! :-))] "Gone are the days when our resources are being exploited and nothing is coming to us," Kasukuwere said. [Yes Saviour, Gone are the days when you could feed yourselves AND export food - you know, when those pesky Colonists ran the Economy ;-) ].

  • kraft - 2010-12-21 18:08

    Our country was much better of in the Apartheid days. Wait for Goverment to run out of Finances and see who's who in the zoo.

  • donovan - 2010-12-21 18:19

    @SLG Are you serious?? Prove that stupid point of yours. Please indulge me.

  • gee - 2010-12-21 18:33

    If Mugabe was the President of Africa, Africa would be the richest continent. If all Africa could do one thing, that would bring us to our knees, eggin Africa. Am American, but l bid up that man! He is not Perfct like all Leaders, l mean ALL!

  • Shrek - 2010-12-22 11:21

    It's simple really....those Western based firms will close shop in Zim. Zim needs those Western companies more than those companies will ever, ever need Zim. So go ahead Robert Moregabage....lets see who suffers.

  • Danyani - 2010-12-22 14:41

    Why does South Africans always condem all proposals by the Zim goverment. It is their country, let them manage it in their own method. If companies wants to pull -out, let them go. One thing for sure is that the indeginous people of Zim can manage their own country.

  • SACRIFICE - 2010-12-29 15:01

    It does not matter whether or not the west leave Zim. Capitalism is not the only economic system and it does not mean if it was made to fail by the west it may not work in other countries. Uncle Bob can get advise from China, Cuba and all other countries that have not subjected themselves to white rule. By the way, Zimbabweans are not grabbing anything from anybody, they are just re-claiming what is theirs. Is it that bad to see a white man cry because the owner took what belong to him. If it was my way, 99% stake of all business in Zim would belong to its people, not the pale coloured hyenas who will break your country down if you dare take what belongs to you from them. Shame on the world for thinking that whites are the only ones entitled to owning and controlling their own assets.

  • Isiah Jemwa - 2010-12-31 00:54

    May the same business provide answers to the following; what was the economic prejudice Zimbabwe suffered as its wealth was moved into the global village by the following; Unilever Central Africa,Coca Cola Central Africa, Old Mutual,Lonrho, Heinz PLC, Anglo, Rio Tinto, etc? What about the Australian BHP at Makwiro Platinum for declaring 0 profit after mining platinum group metals 24/7 for 5 years?Why is it justifiable for multinational companies to make huge profits in Zimbabwe then bank them into EU, British and American banks, when Zimbabwe wants loans from the same banks issues of sanctions and democracy are put in front while when those companies were banking nothing was said? The whole world economic set up is never meant to benefit emerging or marginalised economies like Zimbabwe. As a progressive comunist, i still hold to mass ownership of the means of production as means of addressing past economic injustices committed under our former colonisers. Zanu PF blighted this noble cause of the poor Africans by allowing corrupt hands to meddle in the process and letting them go scort free.@viparo our country will benefit more if all the profit made from trade of our goods is retained in our country not to remain with company tax, what about the major 75%? I suggest to Kasukuwere to start an investment drive funded wholly by Zimbabweans in the diaspora to buy equity into those asserts targeted for nationalisation. Most of our professionals who are doing odd jobs in the dispora will surely be interested if they are assured of running such ventures for purposes of professionalism and accountability. from Mutambara J Mutambara NB(PLEASE PUBLISH THE NAME ABOVE)

  • Mark - 2011-01-10 19:53

    Mugabe probably eats the food these western companys supply in zim now he wants to take them over and give to his comrades who are all in for a quick buck. What will he eat then? Esh..

  • ziggy - 2011-01-11 13:54

    arguments about what is good for zim are best answered by looking at what is good for the average zimbabwean. disregarding the requirements of world (not white,nor western) capital thru indiginisation may give a temporary high but evetually reduces a country to poverty status; in which condition, the low income majority suffer the most. this is not a racial issue and it is no use ranting about how unfair the world economy may be structured - it is simply a fact of present day economic life and one only has to look at zim to see the stark truth of this reality.

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