Mugabe allies dominate empowerment committees

mugabe_robertHARARE Top allies of President Robert Mugabe dominate committees announced by the government last week that will recommend the percentages of shareholding foreign-owned companies in different sectors of the economy must transfer to locals.

The decision to set varying empowerment thresholds for each sector was adopted about two months ago, in a major shift from an earlier requirement that foreign firms cede 51 percent shareholding to local blacks.

Announcing the committees last Thursday, Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said they should move with speed to come up with recommendations to end uncertainty among investors over how much stake they are required to sell to locals.

You need to rush because by the end of September we want investors to be clear from day one, Kasukuwere said.

The committees named by Kasukuwere will cover the financial services, mining, agriculture, energy, transport and motor industry, telecommunications and information communication technology, trading, engineering and construction.

Other committees were appointed for the tourism and hospitality, arts, entertainment and culture, education and sport, services, and manufacturing sectors.

Among prominent Mugabe allies and supporters heading some of the committees is Adam Molai, who is married to one of Mugabes nieces and is a well-known tobacco merchant. He will chair the manufacturing committee.

The committee also includes Bulawayo businessman and an ally of Mugabes Zanu (PF) party, Delma Lupepe.

Businessman Farai Mutamangira will head the financial services committee where top Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe official Munyaradzi Kereke was appointed a member.

Chartered Accountant Tinashe Rwodzi, who has strong links with elements in Zanu (PF) chairs the mining committee. Other known Zanu PF supporters, Chris Mutsvangwa and Supa Mandiwanzira sit on the mining committee.

Former senior army officers Gibson Mashingaidze, and Mike Karakadzai are among those that will sit on some of the committees that will determine how much foreign shareholders will be required to transfer to locals.

War veteran and Zimbabwe Tourism Authority CEO Karikoga Kaseke, was included in the tourism committee, together with another well-known Zanu (PF) supporter, Emmanuel Fundira.

Fundira is president of the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism.

Top musician Oliver Mutukudzi was included in the arts and entertainment committee while Mugabes spokesman George Charamba was appointed as a member to the telecoms committee, which also includes Douglas Mboweni, the chief executive of officer of Zimbabwes biggest mobile phone company.

Critics fear Mugabe wants to press ahead with transferring majority ownership of foreign-owned companies as part of a drive to reward Zanu (PF) loyalists with thriving businesses.

Post published in: World News

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