FINANCE minister, Patrick Chinamasa has pleaded with fellow cabinet ministers to speak with one voice on the implementation of the country’s Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment policy.
The indigenisation ministry is currently headed by Francis Nhema.
Presenting his mid-term fiscal policy review statement in parliament, Chinamasa said the confusion surrounding the implementation of the law, has nurtured negative perceptions about the country which, in turn, undermined potential investments.
“The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Laws are not intended to stifle foreign investment, but rather premised on mutually beneficial partnerships between Zimbabweans and foreign investors in order to guarantee security of investment,” he said.
Chinamasa said implementation of the law was flexible and not rigid as was being claimed by other politicians within government.
The law requires that all foreign owned firms operating in Zimbabwe cede 51 percent of their shareholding to blacks as a way of empowering the marginalised people.
“Mr Speaker Sir, compliance, can therefore be through the following: listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, Implementation of programmes which empower local communities, Compliance points being part of incentive packages which can be offered to investors who invest in needy sectors of the economy, Joint Ventures, Contract Farming/Land Use Agreements and Build-Own-Operate-Transfer projects,” Chinamasa said.
For the economy to grow, there was need for promotion of foreign direct investment which has in the past decade remained significantly low, denying the economy the much needed capital.
“In 2013, foreign direct investment into the country amounted to only $400 million, against US$1.7 billion for Zambia and about $5.9 billion for Mozambique,” the minister said.
“These investment trends are not consistent with the country’s potential, given its vast natural resource endowments, which are ready for exploitation.
“Accordingly, it is in the best interest of the country that we align our investment initiatives to the ZIM ASSET objectives of attaining investment inflows of over US$1 billion annually.”
Turning to the performance of parastatals, Chinamasa said most the executives heading these enterprises were reluctant to implement reforms introduced by government which included cutting their salaries and wages among other measures.Advertisement
“In dealing with challenges at our public enterprises, review of the legal framework governing parastatals would be unavoidable,” he said.
“Furthermore, the Remuneration Policy Framework for State Enterprises, Parastatals and Local Authorities to address remuneration anomalies is being finalised and will be in place by end October 2014,” he said.