Zimbabwe

Zim poll politics 'hurting investment'

2012-03-02 09:05

Special Report

Zimbabwe urged to guarantee safety of journalists
Zimbabwe urged to guarantee safety of journalists

Global media watchdog, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, on Friday urged Zimbabwe to guarantee the safety of journalists after a reporter was beaten up and detained by police.

Johannesburg - Zimbabwe's demand that foreign companies turn over majority stakes to locals is being driven by upcoming elections and scaring investors away, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said on Thursday.

Mining firms, banks and retailers have grown increasingly worried about the law, pushed by Tsvangirai's rival and coalition partner, President Robert Mugabe.

"It is political rhetoric," Tsvangirai told an investment forum in Johannesburg. "The indigenisation law as it currently is - there is no talk of nationalisation. There is no talk of grabbing property."

Tsvangirai said politicians can make promises of bringing riches to the masses, but the law states market prices must be paid for the stakes in foreign firms and there is not enough money in private hands to make that happen.

"Our people don't have the necessary resources to buy the equity that is currently existing in the economy," he said.

Zimbabwe's economy was a basket case, with inflation running at astronomical levels, before a coalition was formed between Mugabe and his long-time foe Tsvangirai after a disputed election in 2008.

The deal helped stabilise the economy and reverse a decade of steep decline but progress could be dashed by national elections required by next year under the power-sharing agreement.

Tsvangirai said his coalition partners "have twisted a very noble cause" of empowering poor blacks.

"This is a price that we are paying as a coalition government of no shared vision and no shared values," he said, adding that the mixed message was "a proper recipe for turning away investors".

Future government

Analysts see a more sinister side to the indigenisation law, which they feel will be exploited by Mugabe's Zanu-PF party to squeeze money out of foreign firms to finance its election campaign and employ thugs to intimidate voters.

Mugabe, in power since the country gained independence from Britain in 1980, and top Zanu-PF officials have been hit with international sanctions for suspected political violence and killing campaigns to stay in power.

"[The law] is little more than an extortion scheme, with rival players offering companies 'protection' in return for pay and equity stakes," said Anne Fruhauf, Africa analyst for the Eurasia Group political risk consultancy.

Mining firms risk losing their claims in the country with the world's second-largest platinum reserves if they do not comply. Many are waiting for a future government more amenable to international investment before they increase production.

Impala Platinum, the world's second-largest platinum producer, has offered to hand over between 25% and 30% in equity and make up the balance through "credits" it hoped to receive in exchange for giving up some of its land five years ago.

But the minister in charge of the black empowerment drive, Saviour Kasukuwere, has rejected part of the Implats proposal and has given the company until Wednesday next week to hand over 29.5% of its Zimplats operation.

- Reuters

NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be in the mood to philosophize and socialize and expand your mind on various discussions and group activities. You could...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.