WAR veterans’ national chairman Christopher Mutsvangwa has raised concern over the proposed “nationalisation” of companies accused of defying government’s indigenisation laws.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Mutsvangwa told NewsDay in an interview yesterday that the former fighters would oppose government’s move to “nationalise” companies that would have failed to cede 51% shares to local investors by April 1.
“It is a plan to loot the country’s resources and we will not fold our hands. War veterans want a country that is open to business, that is attractive to investment from anyone and there is no need for us to slam doors in the faces of those who want to bring in new money,” Mutsvangwa said ahead of the April 1 deadline issued by Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao.
Zhuwao has indicated that companies that would have failed to comply risk having their registration licences withdrawn by government, but Mutsvangwa claimed the threat was to force companies to part with money that would “end up in the wrong pockets”.
“They (ministers) are parcelling out to each other money that should be going into the Consolidated Revenue Fund to finance their egoistic rush to build 50-roomed houses. Every minister wants to control some kind of levy. It has happened to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) with the creation of the Border Control Authority,” Mutsvangwa said.
“These kinds of levies, including the fines being collected by the Zimbabwe Republic Police, are not benefiting the country, but individuals. That should be stopped; it is an assault on the very essence of our nationhood. We are in opposition to expropriation, but want a new modern State open to capital.”
Zhuwao, in response, said if war veterans had any issues with a particular government policy, they should follow correct channels to air their grievances.
“I am not sure war veterans would want to give instructions to me. Their patron (President Robert Mugabe) and other members of their association were part of a collective Cabinet decision that I announced,” Zhuwao said.
He added: “It is hard for me to think that chairman Mutsvangwa would say such things when he is aware of Cabinet processes. I am certain they would not want to give me instructions because that would be tantamount to usurping the powers of my appointing authority (Mugabe), their patron.”