The Zimbabwean government is set to review all indigenisation and economic empowerment agreements, according to new Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Francis Nhema. In an interview with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Nhema said the agreements need to be reviewed to ensure sustainability in terms of benefits to the country’s citizens. “Reviewing the deals is a continuous process that enables communities to derive maximum benefits from the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme,” said Nhema. There were however mixed reactions to the move, with some analysts saying it was a welcome development as the previous agreements had been controversial and contentious. Zimbabwe embarked on the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme to address colonial imbalances by offering more opportunities to local Zimbabweans.
Implementation of the laws was however met with much criticism, with investors saying the agreed deals are not sustainable and will be detrimental in the long run. But others believe it is not the agreements that need reviewing, but the law itself. “It’s less than a year since the agreements with the likes of Zimplats, and already we are reviewing the agreements which fuels uncertainty,” said one analysts. “What will stop the next minister from reviewing the same agreements again?” he asked, adding that the implementation of the law should not depend on personalities running the ministry.