Mugabe Now Targets White-Owned Businesses
Not satisfied with stealing White-owned farms in his country, Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe has enacted a law banning Whites from starting new businesses and forcing already-established White-owned companies to have a minimum 51%-Black ownership.
The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Regulations Act affects all businesses with assets of more than £320,000 (US $500,000). All White-owned companies worth at least that amount must have a 51%-Black ownership by March 1 – or its owners face imprisonment.
Executives cannot choose their new shareholders: instead, they are being forced to pick from a database set up by the empowerment ministry, headed by former secret service operative Saviour Kasukuwere, who has vast business interests of his own.
The new regulations will affect several London-listed banks and mines, such as Barclays Bank and Old Mutual, which have a significant presence in Zimbabwe.
Several types of small business have been deemed “sectors reserved against foreign investment,” such as hairdressers, beauty salons, employment and advertising agencies and bakeries. Whites and foreigners will no longer be allowed to open estate agencies or valet services, nor will they be allowed to engage in the retail trade or grow cash crops.
The law was first passed by Mugabe’s Zanu-PF-dominated parliament in 2007 but were shelved, leaving many to believe they would never be enacted. But the long-dormant legislation was suddenly brought to life on February 5th, exactly a decade after the country went on a bloody land reform campaign which has all but evicted all of its 4,000 White farmers from their land.
“This comes down to loot and pillage,” an aide to Zimbabwe PM Morgan Tsvangirai aide said.
“It disqualifies a lot of black-owned foreign companies, including ones from South Africa, which shows it has nothing to do with black empowerment. They (Mr Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party] just want things for free like the farms.”
When Tsvangirai voiced his opposition to the legislation to Mugabe, the Marxist dictator told him he “knew nothing about it.”