On Friday Zimbabwe’s state media reported that Patrick Zhuwao, the recently appointed Zimbabwe’s indigenisation minister took an oath to push on with President Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s controversial programme for black empowerment.
The appointed minister, who is President Mugabe’s nephew, outlined that the ZANU-PF government was elected on a mandate of indigenisation, empowerment and employment creation. Zhuwao entered politics when he won the Zvimba East seat under a ZANU-PF in 2008 and was subsequently appointed the deputy minister for Science and Technology. He was a member of the politburo and also held several positions within the party. Zhuwao also made the headlines when he claimed that he could be useful to the country if he could be an advisor to the government. He made the sentiments while highlighting that most of the economic decisions being made were not being made after vigorous consultations and research.
The well-known businessman and farmer said, “So I believe that it will be my responsibility to ensure that we continue with that programme of indigenisation as articulated by His Excellency [Mugabe]”. He went on to say that he will take over from where his predecessor Christopher Mushohwe, who was named information minister in Friday’s cabinet reshuffle. A slight softening on indigenisation was recently signalled by Mushoswe, which requires all large foreign and white-owned businesses to cede a 51% stake to local black businessmen.
The opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change believes the policy is scaring off desperately-needed foreign investment, and some in the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front share that view. Jacob Mudenda, a member of ZANU-PF and Speaker of Parliament, was quoted by the official Chronicle on Saturday calling for urgent amendments to the indigenisation laws in order to be easy for investors to invest in Zimbabwe.