LEGISLATORS want to engage the Government to establish why foreigners continue to participate in the reserved sectors of the economy which in terms of the law has been earmarked for indigenous people.
A parliamentary portfolio committee on Industry and Commerce expressed concern on the continued participation of foreigners, mainly Chinese and Nigerians, in the retail sector.
In an interview, Committee chairperson Cde Ray Kaukonde said it was important to ensure that indigenous enterprenours were protected as envisaged by the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act which listed sectors that should be reserved for locals.
“We still continue to see foreigners operating shops in the retail and wholesale industry,” he said. “We have the Chinese and Nigerians. We will soon engage the relevant authorities as a committee to find a solution that protects local people,” said Cde Kaukonde. In terms of the Act, some sectors have been reserved exclusively for indigenous Zimbabweans with a view to empowering them and also to curb capital flight out of Zimbabwe.
These sectors include agriculture, retail and wholesale, bakeries, barbershops, hairdressing, beauty salons, employment agencies, estate agencies, milling and transport.
Cde Kaukonde said his committee would engage Government on how confidence in the economy could be restored and maintained. “In Kenya, there is violence, but people always go there for business because they have confidence in that country,” he said. “That is what we want in Zimbabwe, we need to instil the confidence and court investors.
“In terms of investment let’s embrace everyone regardless of colour.”
Cde Kaukonde implored the Government to work closely with industry.
“That is where our salaries come from, so as a portfolio committee, we will work with industry to see how they can compliment Government efforts,” he said.
Last week, the committee met officils from Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and Zimtrade to have their reflections on what needs to be done to improve capacity utilisation.