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ZCTU blasts indigenisation policy

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The George Nkiwane-led Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) on Saturday blasted the indigenisation policy being championed by Zanu (PF) and demanded identities of beneficiaries, saying most of its members have lost jobs because of the controversial policy.

ZCTU’s complaints come in the wake of public verbal clashes between Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono and Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere over intentions by the later to extend the indigenisation policy to banks.

Gono is against the forced indigenisation of banks, while Kasukuwere on Friday reiterated that financial institutions would not be spared.

Gono has hiked minimum capital requirements for banks to $100 million, a move seen as meant to stop the takeover of banks by locals.

Speaking at the ZCTU’s regional council meeting in Bulawayo, Western Region deputy chairperson Ambrose Sibindi said workers wanted to know more about the recapitalisation of Bulawayo industries and indigenisation.

“Those behind indigenisation are now fighting over it and we wonder in whose interest is it? We demand clarity on the policy because many workers have been left jobless after some companies closed when owners were scared away by the policy,” said Sibindi.

Western region chairman Reason Ngwenya, who comes from Gwanda where share ownership schemes have been rolled out under the empowerment programme, said it was unclear how the general public in the area would benefit.

“This appears to be a dangerous policy. Where are its fruits if people have not benefited? When someone is given a share in someone’s company, something is wrong. People have to work for whatever they get,” said Ngwenya.

He added that workers were demanding clarity on the Distressed and Marginsalied Industries Fund. He said no one knew campanies that have so far benefitted from the fund.

He also said workers were struggling to get their lifetime investments and demanded clarity on their pensions.

Kasukuwere last week said his ministry would not rest until every company complied with the laws of the country on the issue of indigenisation and share ownership schemes.

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