Opposition parties yesterday angrily reacted to government’s threat to close all foreign-owned firms that would not have complied with the indigenisation laws by April 1, describing the move as a “tsunami meant to impoverish ordinary Zimbabweans”.
by XOLISANI NCUBE
The Welshman Ncube-led MDC said President Robert Mugabe’s Cabinet decision on Tuesday to clamp down on foreign-owned firms was “tragic”.
“It is a tragedy that those superintending over this country think it is alright to play Russian roulette with the country and its citizens’ economic welfare by chasing away foreign investors instead of embracing them,” MDC spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi said.
Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao told a Press briefing in the capital on Wednesday that Cabinet had approved the closure of non-compliant firms, a move likely to receive international condemnation and trigger massive job losses.
According to the black empowerment law, foreign-owned firms with a $500 000 capital threshold should cede 51% of their stake to locals.
The Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said the Cabinet directive confirmed Zanu PF was not capable of implementing any reforms aimed at turning around the country’s economy.
“Mugabe’s endorsement comes as a slap in the face for the IMF [International Monetary Fund] re-engagement exercise, which recently approved Zimbabwe’s efforts towards normalising its relations with various international creditors. Mugabe’s statement, thus, vindicates our position and should trigger serious thought analysis on those foreign and international bodies that had fallen into the mirage of reform which Zanu PF had created,” PDP economic affairs secretary Vince Musewe said.