At least 35 foreign-owned companies have submitted plans on how they intend to localise their shareholding in terms of the indigenisation law, the Zimbabwe Investment Authority has said. Under the new indigenisation framework, which came into effect in January this year, foreign-owned companies are required to submit their proposals through ZIA. ZIA chief executive Mr Richard Mbaiwa said last week the authority has handled only 35 applications.
“Since we were given the mandate to handle the applications, we received 35 proposals,” said Mr Mbaiwa. Government set March 31 as the deadline for submitting proposals on indigenisation compliance. All companies that fail to comply by March 31 will have their operational licenses cancelled following a directive issued by the Cabinet last week to line ministers to start enforcing the law.
Last week, Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Patrick Zhuwao said Cabinet unanimously passed a resolution directing that from April 1 2016 all line ministries should proceed to issue orders to licensing authorities to cancel licenses of non-compliant business within their respective sectors of the economy.
“Cabinet has directed that on April 1, 2016, all line ministers invoke Section 5 of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act (Chapter 14:33) Act against all non-compliant businesses in their sectors Invoking of Section 5 of the Act is purely a technical process which shall come into effect by pure operation of the law,” said Minister Zhuwao.
Under the process, line ministers shall issue orders to licensing authorities to cancel licences of non-compliant businesses.
Minister Zhuwao said Cabinet had also directed that all line ministries must make available to the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) a full and comprehensive list of all companies that are licensed to operate within their sectors within a week from March 22, 2016 for the purposes of verifying their indigenous status.