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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Zimbabwe forcing foreign owners to give up control of businesses
D. Wes Rist at 8:44 AM ET

[JURIST] A Zimbabwean government minister confirmed on Monday that the government will proceed with plans to enact the National Indigenisation and Empowerment Bill, which would force foreign business owners to give up controlling interests in private companies located inside Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive]. The bill was approved by the Zimbabwean cabinet [Herald report] earlier in May and then presented to the country's parliament [official website] for consideration. Zimbabwean Industry and International Trade Minister Obert Mpofu said that the government policy of forcing businesses to shift to indigenous ownership was a high priority and that the details of how to enable black owners to raise the funds to purchase controlling shares in firms was being carefully considered.

Zimbabwe has pushed for most economic and commercial ventures in the country to be owned by indigenous citizens, but has been harshly criticized [L'Express report] for its failure to train those citizens in how to run the ventures. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile] previously implemented a farm seizure program that critics allege resulted in the nation-wide famine that currently grips the country. ZimOnline has more.

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