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Zim pro-black law is investment scare

Nov 29 2012 17:53

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Harare - Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Thursday said the country's laws that force foreign firms to cede majority stakes to local blacks is driving away desperately needed foreign investment.

"That policy discord is what has led to the crisis of investment in this country," Tsvangirai told his Movement Democratic Change supporters as he launched the party's economic blueprint in Harare.

The two-year-old "indigenisation" law which compels all foreign-owned companies to surrender 51% of their share holding to black Zimbabweans is one of the areas of contention between Tsvangirai and his coalition government partner, President Robert Mugabe.

The three-year-old power-sharing deal with Mugabe helped prevent the southern African country from tipping into a full scale conflict and stabilised the economy after bloody elections in 2008.

"Our plan is to transform Zimbabwe into a newly industrialised nation within a generation," said Tsvangirai in what is seen a precursor an electoral platform, ahead of a vote to end the uneasy coalition government.

"We intend to raise Zimbabwe from failed state status where perception and suspicion run riot within the investor community whenever Zimbabwe is mentioned as a possible investment destination."

Tsvangirai said the indigenisation policy pushed by his rival Mugabe is not the solution to the investment crisis and a runaway unemployment rate of over 80 percent.

"The crisis we face... is opportunities for jobs," he said.

Tsvangirai who is to face Mugabe in another election set for 2013 said the country needs to respect investors' property rights if it is to revive industries that have shuttered.

On Wednesday Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, a member of Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, warned foreign companies that fail to comply with the controversial law will face prosecution.

morgan tsvangirai  |  zimbabwe

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