Zimbabwe PM vows to reverse Mugabe’s companies take-over drive

Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai wrapped up his party’s post-election plan meeting Sun-day vowing to overturn President Robert Mugabe’s controversial indigenisation drive if he wins upcoming general elections. He wound up the meeting with a rally attended by thousands of supporters of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) at a sports ground in Harare’s working class suburb of Highfi eld. “We will reverse indigenization laws and create empowerment laws for the majority of the people of Zimbabwe,” said Tsvangirai.“We cannot all share a small cake. We can’t share the existing wealth so we will have to create a bigger cake.” Mugabe introduced the indigenization law in 2010 which forces foreign-owned companies – including mines, banks and retailers — to cede 51 percent ownership to black Zimbabwean investors. He has threatened to take over firms that fail to comply. Tsvangirai is uneasy with the law which he says has driven away desperately needed foreign investment just as the country is recovering from a decade-long economic collapse.

He bemoaned “lack of transparency in the distribution of wealth in Zimbabwe”. “Every Zimbabwean must be able to point out that they benefi tted under this or that programme,” he said. The rally marked the end of a conference by MDC officials which unveiled an outline of its programme and projects if it wins elections. Zimbabwe will hold elections later this year to choose a successor to the shaky power-sharing government formed four years ago by Tsvangirai and Mugabe. No election date has been set yet, but Mugabe, who is 89, is pressing for them to go ahead as soon as possible. Tsvangirai, who is confi dent of winning the vote, said elections would be held before October 30. “There are things that need to be done reforms we need to have before elections,” he said. AFP