I’m here to ensure compliance: Zhuwawo
Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Patrick Zhuwao said there was no room for repackaging the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act but that companies need to comply using the new frameworks that were recently gazetted.
Speaking at he Herald Business/Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries Economic Outlook Symposium yesterday, Minister Zhuwao told captains of industry that there is no room for the repackaging of the Act but rather his focus was on delivering on the jobs promise made by ZANU PF.
“I cannot package the Indigenisation Act differently. My responsibility is to ensure that there is compliance. The frameworks gazetted recently are about compliance and it is as simple as that. I am not here to discuss or negotiate whether indigenisation is good or bad, it is an Act and a law of the land so I am here to implement it.
“We cannot sugar coat the Act in any way because it is the law. We just need to comply with the law.
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He said industry should also find time to read and scrutinise the Act for themselves to get a better understanding before making decisions.
“There is absolutely nothing new that I have talked about in the new framework and guidelines of the IEE Act. It is still the same Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act Chapter 14:33, the same statutory instruments, the same general notices.
“The reason why people are now saying this is good legislation is because people are not reading the Act and I am sorry to say that most captains of industry are not reading the Act and are relying on media which sometimes misrepresents issues,” said Minister Zhuwao.
He said on the implementation of the Act, as minister, he does not enjoy extensive privileges but rather acts in line with the recommendations of the Cabinet.
Minister Zhuwao said in as much as he is now called the “New Sherriff in Town”, he can only speak about policy as agreed in Cabinet and cannot implement the policy in his individual capacity.
“The minister does not have unfettered discretion and I cannot stand in front of you as the minister and talk about policy without having been agreed in Cabinet. The only person required to speak in their individual capacity about policy is President Mugabe and when I speak as minister, I only speak as agreed to in Cabinet.
“When I implement the Act I implement not in my individual capacity, not as a single person but for and behalf of the collective Government and that is how the Cabinet system operates,” said Minister Zhuwao.
Minister Zhuwao said he will stand by his position that no foreigners will create value for Zimbabweans through Foreign Direct Investment, arguing that foreigners are bent on looting the country’s natural resources.
He said those who believe in foreign direct investment should go ahead with their beliefs but should not get into his way when executing his mandate.
“Those that believe foreign direct investment is the one and only answer to the Zimbabwean economy please go ahead and I will not stop you but in the same way that I will not stop you from promoting foreign direct investment please do not stop me from executing my own mandate as well.
Minister Zhuwao said the industry should also create investment grade assets in order to attract meaningful investments.