Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere is pushing for the introduction of a levy that will be used to raise funds to finance the ongoing empowerment drive.
Kasukuwere told NewsDay on Monday that despite seeking audience with Finance minister Tendai Biti to have the levy introduced, his efforts have not been fruitful.
According to the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act Part V: The minister (of Indigenisation) may, with the approval of the minister responsible for Finance and subject to subsection 3, by statutory instrument, impose one or more levy on any private or public company and any other business in Zimbabwe specified in the Statutory Instrument.
The collected levies would be remitted to the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund.
Minister Biti has refused to institute the levy so we can pay for the 51% shareholding we are taking from foreign-owned companies, Kasukuwere said.
He is the one who is sabotaging the indigenisation drive.
Kasukuwere also bemoaned the insignificant allocation of financial resources from Treasury to fund the empowerment programme.
He (Biti) must make funds available for the programme. If there are no funds what do they want me to do? he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Biti were fruitless as he was unreachable on his mobile phone since Monday.
Speaking at the Atlantic Centre, a think-tank and public policy group in the US on Thursday last week, Biti said the empowerment crusade to acquire 51% in foreign-owned entities should be reviewed as it would benefit a small black elite.
The transfer is for value, which is good, but in a situation where the majority are poor, you are just transferring shares from a few rich white people to a few rich black people, Biti said.
It wasnt well thought out. Due process not being followed, we need to go back to the drawing board and say: How can we empower our people?
The best way to empower our people at this present moment in time is to expand our economy to create as many sectors as possible.
Early this month, Kasukuwere announced the takeover of all foreign mining firms that had not complied with the indigenisation and empowerment law to dispose 51% shareholding to locals.
All mining companies that have not complied with this notice should note that 51% of their shareholding is now deemed to be owned by the State and any business transacted in respect of this 51% shall have been transacted on behalf of the government of Zimbabwe with effect from the deadline stipulated in the said General Notice 114 of 2011, which deadline for the avoidance of doubt was September 25, 2011, he added.