The Indigenisation Bill

11 02 2010

The Indigenisation Bill is due to come into force next month. All businesses worth more than US$500,000 will be required to cede 51% of their shares to indigenous shareholders. This bill was tabled and signed into law in 2008 by the ZANU-PF government and Morgan Tsvangirai has distanced himself from it saying that the MDC was never consulted (true as they were not in government then) and he is responsible for the formulation
of all Government policy by Cabinet and their implementation. The list of “suitable” indigenous shareholders will be decided by the government. This is obviously wide open to abuse and nepotism and locally is seen as just an extension of the land grab that devastated the country’s agriculture and levelled the economy. If it comes to pass it will certainly dissuade potential investors and lots of those here will certainly pull out. The tobacco companies are distinctly nervous and my grape vine tells me that Coca-Cola will disinvest.

My company is certainly safe; I estimate it is worth about 15,000 dollars! Of course we would feel the impact and an already quiet market would become unsustainable for us. I am fascinated by the definition of “indigenous”. If I recall correctly it is “Those who born before 1980 (independence) and were disadvantaged by fact of their race”. That excludes me even though I was born here. But what about those born since then which must be the majority of the population? Are they considered equals?

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