Zimplats not about grabbing – Tsvangirai

2012-03-01 14:34

There is no grabbing or nationalisation of investments in Zimbabwe, according to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

“You can’t nationalise investments, you can’t grab property – that is very clear,” Tsvangirai said with reference to an indigenisation law share transfer dispute between Zimplats and the Zimbabwe government.

Instead, there should be “collaboration” over a transfer, he said.

Zimplats and the government of Zimbabwe are at loggerheads over the transfer of shares from the company to that government.

In February, the Zimbabwe government rejected Implats’ proposal in terms of its Indigenisation Implementation Plan (IIP) on transferring a percentage of its shareholding in lieu of empowerment credits to comply with the IIP.

It then warned the company that unless it transferred the required shareholding within 14 days to the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund “enforcement mechanisms” would be activated, according to a Zimplats press release.

News reports said the Zimbabwe government required a 51% shareholding transfer.

Tsvangirai said the issue around Zimplats was a “work in progress”.

Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Tendai Biti, speaking at the same press conference, said: “It’s still true that outside land, no foreign investor has had its property, or asset or shareholding expropriated.

“The issues of indigenisation is a separate process.”

Associated Press reported yesterday that Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said there was “no compromise” over the hand over of 51% of the company’s stock.

Last year, Zimplats became the first foreign-owned company to cede 10% of its holdings to a local community trust.

Zimbabwe ordered Zimplats to hand over another 30% by mid-March, according to AP.

Implats owns 87% of the shares in Zimplats.

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