The Zanu-PF Youth League has clashed with Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube over his recent pronouncement that government is reversing the indigenisation policy to allow foreign entities full ownership of their investments.
This latest development shows the deep-seated problems that the “technocrats” hired by President Emmerson Mnangagwa face in executing their duties in a government where the majority of the hardliners from the Robert Mugabe era are still in control of the party and government.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television last week, Ncube said they are removing the indigenization policy which he said was discouraging foreign direct investment into the country.
“We are removing that indigenization rule, which is discouraging foreign direct investment,” Ncube said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Washington.
“We say Zimbabwe is open for business; you can only be open if you allow ownership of 100 percent,” added Ncube.
However, Zanu-PF youth League Commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu told 263Chat that the move is against a declaration by President Emmerson Mnangagwa that the 51/49% ownership remains for platinum and diamonds miners.
“The President came out and said 51/49 remains for minerals like Platinum and Diamond and now the Finance Minister comes out saying they are scrapping it out completely to give 100% ownership to foreigners.
ZANU-PF Youth league political commissar, Godfrey Tsenengamu was not amused.
“What is it we are driving at as a country? What has informed that decision by the Finance Minister? What has happened to the declaration by the President which the Finance Minister seems to be overturning?” Tsenengamu said.
Zimbabwe holds the world’s second-largest known reserves of platinum-group metals after South Africa, plus substantial deposits of gold, diamonds, lithium, iron ore, coal, chrome and nickel.
The changes to the ownership rules would need to be ratified by parliament.
However, Tsenengamu argued that 51/49 percent on Platinum and Diamonds was not responsible for driving away investors but policy inconsistency.
“The President saw reason in partially reserving that sector for the indigenous as this would ensure the empowerment and economic emancipation of the previously disadvantaged but what’s surprising today is how the Finance Minister can just change that today.
“The world over especially in the West there is no foreigner with 100% ownership over strategic sectors especially critical minerals like diamonds and am not sure what’s motivating the Finance Minister to declare that,” he noted.
Tsenengamu expressed worry that Mthuli Ncube could be very desperate for investors and in the process dis-empowering locals.
“Are we that desperate that we can choose to dis-empower ourselves in order to satisfy foreigners who will create jobs yes but which jobs will never make us rich. We will remain poor but employed when we continue giving away our resources in this manner,” noted Tsenengamu.
However, other colleagues of the ZANU-PF Youth League boss called him to order, reminding him that even with the existing percentages under Mugabe, the country benefited nothing.