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Hot seat part 2: Heated debate on Indigenisation Regulations
SW Radio Africa
February 19, 2010

See part one of this debate

Violet Gonda: Welcome to the final part of the debate on the new Empowerment and Indigenisation regulations recently passed by the government. My guests are businessman Mutumwa Mawere, economist Daniel Ndlela, the President of the Affirmative Action Group Supa Mandiwanzira and journalist Peta Thornycroft. Supa picks up from where the discussion ended last week with Mutumwa saying Zimbabwe needs to generate employment and encourage the masses of people who left the country to return - instead of introducing legislation that will add a significant burden to established businesses.

Supa Mandiwanzira: First of all I don't buy this argument that Zimbabweans are desperate to be empowered by jobs. I think that as Zimbabweans we have come a long way as a people to realise that jobs will not take us anywhere, we now must own our own resources and then we must control our own destiny. I do not speak on behalf of the Zimbabwe government or any other party except the Affirmative Action Group which represents the interests of those that want to get into the mainstream of the economy and not be relegated in very Mickey Mouse kind of businesses like selling at flea markets and stuff like that.

Let me tell you Violet, the fact of the matter is this, that for instance I'm aware that at Kamativi Tin Mine a lot of that tin was mined and was used to make arms during the Second World War but I can tell you that today if you go to Kamativi you will see some of the poorest of Zimbabweans. Why has that happened? It is simply because there was nobody else in the company that exploited those resources who was Zimbabwean or who was from Kamativi - who ensured that post this mine we will eventually have another life that is supported by other infrastructure that we have to build now, and we have many examples. I'll not mention a platinum, a multi-national company that operates in Zimbabwe that has got platinum concessions. When a year or two ago the Zimbabwe government, before the inclusive government, wanted to take a certain chunk of that platinum so they could do a trade deal with China . That company requested that they be paid 150 million US dollars and this is an asset that they obtained simply by getting a Mining Commissioner's stamp. They never spent a cent in terms of that asset. If they spent a cent, it was merely on exploration, which of course they've already recovered by the mining operations they've been undertaking. But to give up a certain portion of their platinum mining block, which they were not utilising, they wanted 150 million US dollars.

Now our argument, which is supported by this Law and Regulation, is that you must now allow the indigenous people to be part of the ownership, to have 51% and they determine how these things are happening and what is remaining in the country. We have nothing to show for all the gold, all the silver, and all the nickel that has been exploited out of this country by the multi-nationals. If you drive to some of these mines, and I'm talking from practical experience, the roads are so terrible and yet significant resources have been exploited.

So at the end of the day, we must acknowledge that it is important to have significant ownership of businesses in Zimbabwe especially some of these that relate to exploiting our natural resources in the hands of the locals. The Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, three million of them as Mutumwa is saying, they will need to come back here, not to come and be employed again. They've been employed elsewhere, they've worked hard enough, they must now come and own businesses, this is their opportunity. And of all things, I have not heard any one foreign investor issue a statement that this is not good. What I've heard are Zimbabweans who purport to represent foreign investors who say this will scare away investment. Let the foreign investors speak for themselves. As far as we are concerned as the AAG, this is fantastic, this is the best thing that has ever happened after Independence in 1980.

Gonda: I'd like to . . .

Peta Thornycroft: Well actually . . .

Gonda: Yes Peta?

Thornycroft: Sorry Violet, we got a foreign investor, Rio Tinto, we interviewed them in London about these regulations and I know that they've been talking about a massive expansion, the bottom line on that expansion is an initial investment of 200 million because it is quite a small mine and this certainly frightened them off, certainly.

Mandiwanzira Peta, Peta, I want you to mark my words. Rio Tinto will remain in this country, Rio Tinto will remain to invest in that 200 million even under the current circumstances because we have an asset that they want - because it's an asset they will make profit out of. I can tell you, even at the height of Zimbabwe 's problems, companies like Zimplats were announcing putting 400 million dollars into this market. They shrugged off resistance by foreign governments to say don't go into Zimbabwe ; they simply said we are doing business. Now if it makes sense for Rio Tinto or for Zimplats, for any other to say I will still go into Zimbabwe , I can sell my 51% at market value and still continue to make money, they will stay in this market and mark my words - they are going to stay in this market.

Gonda: Peta?

Thornycroft: There was a very long struggle between Zimplats and Gideon Gono at the Reserve Bank, a long struggle; it went over about three years. As far as I can remember, when they were being summoned to the 22 nd floor of the RBZ, where they were being told that they now had to bank locally, when they had a signed agreement of 20 years previously - signed by the then Minister Edison Zvobgo, to allow them to have their off shore banking because they needed to spend these billions of dollars on imports. They couldn't have it in Zimbabwe because nobody trusted putting your money in Zimbabwe . There were years of those struggles. It ended up OK, from what I gather, and whenever we talk about mining we just need to remember that there is enormous money that has to be invested in mining over a certain payback time over some years, and it takes years and years. So for a company to go and invest it has to be extremely sure and you can see what's happened in Katanga in the last couple of years. You had an enormous boom, it was also to do with the prices - but as they got less and less sure about more and more government taking over percentage of their companies, you've now reduced from about 70 mining companies operational in Katanga, say three years ago when I was going there, down to two or three that have survived. And those are the very biggest in the world and they're extremely worried.

Mandiwanzira Violet, let me tell you, if you speak to Zimbabwe 's Finance Minister today, he will tell you that he is not happy at all that the mining industry in this country contributes only 4% to Gross Domestic Product but if you look at the kind of profits they are making, you cannot correlate the two. That's one; Secondly Peta helps my argument. You have international companies, multi-nationals operating in Zimbabwe, 100% foreign owned, they choose to bank their money outside Zimbabwe so even where they were banking locally and others can borrow that money to sustain their business so we can deal with the liquidity crisis in this country, they choose to bank this money in foreign banks because they don't trust this market but they trust taking out the assets of Zimbabweans. And that is where we are saying it is absolutely wrong for you to come and exploit, even just ensuring that the Zimbabwean banks benefit from your deposits and continue to do business to lend and everything, you still don't even want to do that, you want to bank that money in foreign banks which do not benefit anyone, so we are simply saying if you . . . (interrupted)

Thornycroft: But the Reserve Bank used to steal their money . . . .

Mandiwanzira . . . have indigenous people owning these businesses, 51%. Decisions will be made who benefit not just themselves but Zimbabweans at large.

Thornycroft: Supa, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe over the last five years has been dipping itself into peoples' foreign currency accounts, not individuals but companies, they've been dipping into foreign currency accounts and helping themselves to it and then using it in the market for whatever reason and those companies haven't got payback. Think of what happened to the gold mines in the last five years, the few that survived. The problem is Zimbabwe has a very bad record, it's a difficult time for any investment anywhere in the world today, and its past record over say the last five, it's going to have to repair that record because the Reserve Bank in this country . . . (interrupted)

Mandiwanzira That's quite patronising, that's quite patronising . . .

Mutumwa Mawere But . . .

Mandiwanzira . . . The fact of the matter is that if you're operating in Zimbabwe , and you don't trust the environment, you might as well not be there. You cannot be coming into my house and you want to have a meal in my house and say but I don't trust you. So don't come and have that meal in the house in the first place. We have an asset . . . (interrupted)

Thornycroft: They were there already.

Mandiwanzira . . . you can go anywhere in the world and look for a country that has got the second largest proven resources of platinum, you will not find it, you will end up coming back to Zimbabwe . We are simply saying those benefits must accrue to the local people. I do not disagree that there were problems at the Reserve Bank, there were problems in the economy but I do not think that these dispensations for banking outside were given by Gono, I do not think that these dispensations existed only in the last five years, they have existed for a very long, long time and we are saying it must stop. What was the reason that was given for banking money outside, well they didn't trust the exchange rate, they didn't trust that their money would be safe, well we have an inclusive government here that has assured everyone that's it's no longer business as usual, it's now business unusual. So why don't we bring back that money at least it circulates within the Zimbabwe banking industry? Zimplats . . . (interrupted)

Thornycroft: Because the inclusive government has stalled.

Mandiwanzira . . . makes more than 20 million US dollars a month. If that money was banked in the local banking system, it will make a difference.

Gonda: Mutumwa, you wanted to come in?

Mawere Yes, I think my companies were taken over by State action in 2004; today you read that at the companies right now workers can't even go underground because water level is rising, bills have not been paid. In Zambia where I had an involvement in the copper mines, the examples are clear of what happened in Zambia . The copper remained underground but it couldn't be extracted because of policies that inhibit investment. And when you talk of indigenous, I'm not too sure whether Supa is listening to his own voice or he's talking as a businessman because any businessman would know that money cannot stay in a bad relationship. People are, like the human spirit, the people who leave Zimbabwe today are not invited by the people who host them, they find their own way. Good countries don't have to do anything. When the Berlin Wall fell, the traffic, the human traffic indicated where people's preference were. Some people want to swim to freedom and that human spirit, if you are banking it's the same thing, it's about confidence.

If Zimbabwe does what it needs to do you don't have to invite anyone to bank the money. But your costs are foreign. If you're mining, even the physical assets, the bulldozer is not made in Zimbabwe so you have to pay for it in foreign currency. When you want to procure that asset everybody will say - look can you give me evidence before I put in the ship that you are able to pay for it. And in Zimbabwe you know that most of the banks don't have, the people don't have income for known reasons.

So if you are saying that the asset, if I'm going to bring in the asset like the special mining lease that was given to BHP to start even exposing the platinum and that investment that is required without that off-shore account, the platinum that Supa is talking about today will remain hidden where it was in the Great Dyke, but somebody had to take the plunge. But in doing so, some of us were involved in the time when I was working at the World Bank in trying to convince the government that it was necessary to open the mining sector to the potential that was there.

When Cecil John Rhodes, through Rudd Concession, got the concession from Lobengula what they thought was the gold that they thought was there, they didn't even know about platinum but that platinum remained underground, diamonds remained underground. But to expose it, even to have an interest in Zimbabwe , people with capital have to look at what their interests are. And I don't think that Supa himself - I've seen him in South Africa , that he is allergic to foreign currency. He's got his own foreign currency - but would want to pretend today that he can be the custodian, the policeman of where people bank their own money without him declaring . . . (interrupted)

Mandiwanzira I'm not suggesting that I'd like to be the custodian Mutumwa, I'm simply saying if you are a responsible investor and you are extracting and exploiting a Zimbabwean asset, that's really grounded, a natural resource . . .

Mawere I'm investing, I'm putting . . .

Mandiwanzira . . . surely you must have an obligation to say how can I be of more help in this society. Zimbabwe . . .

Mawere And you become the custodian because you were elected the president of the AAG? Of what I should do? If I go into the country, the minerals remain in the ground and nothing happens, the platinum will still be in the Great Dyke . . .

Mandiwanzira . . . I'm simply saying there's no reason why you should operate an account outside the banks that are in Zimbabwe . . .

Mawere Are you saying you don't have an account yourself? I'm saying I've seen people who are disingenuous and are talking about other people, when they have their own assets, their own interests. When you want to buy things from South Africa you have to have the Rands ; if you want to buy in the US you have to have the US dollars. What is wrong with that because the costs have to be spent in Zimbabwe , the private sector party has to pay those costs? It's not government funds. Whether I put them in Europe , I put them in Zimbabwe , what's the difference? It's still my money, if it's in the left hand pocket or the right pocket, it's still my money. What is your interest in it!?

Mandiwanzira My interest is this - that you've got to be responsible in a country, if there's no liquidity in the market and you are turning over 30 million dollars a month, nobody's taking that money away from you but you have a responsibility to make everyone else around you prosper, so make the banks prosper by you know, in circulating that money within that system. That money you are obtaining it out of a Zimbabwean asset - so you do have a social responsibility to make sure you are also assisting others without losing a cent . . .

Mawere So you are now the social engineer?

Mandiwanzira . . . will not lose money by banking it at Barclays here in Zimbabwe, they'll not lose money by banking it at CBZ, they'll not lose any cent, we are simply saying that money must be operated in Zimbabwean accounts so the liquidity crisis is resolved so that the people are able to borrow from the banks, because this money has been generated out of Zimbabwean assets, what we are doing . . .

Mawere Like I, Supa . . .

Mandiwanzira . . . is we are allowing that money to be lent to other investors elsewhere and those are the ones who are benefiting.

Mawere Supa, I am by definition of the law I am indigenous, previously disadvantaged, but I have never had the AAG even raise a finger about assets of an indigenous being taken and being administered by someone appointed by the State.

Mandiwanzira We don't have to shout about the actions we take and I don't think this is the platform to talk about what we have done for you to recover your assets or . . .

Mawere Oh if it's Rio Tinto you shout?

Mandiwanzira . . . to be resolved. We don't have to do it in public.

Mawere Oh if it's Rio Tinto we do it in public?

Mandiwanzira We are talking about a law that has been implemented in Zimbabwe that affects Rio Tinto.

Mawere I see, it doesn't affect anybody.

Mandiwanzira Oh come on.

Gonda: Let me go to Daniel to get his thoughts on this. Daniel, Supa has said Zimbabweans have nothing to show for all the resources that have been exploited. First of all, is this the right way to redress the situation? And also do you agree with this bearing in mind of what happened in the Chiadzwa diamond area where Zimbabwe has the resources but there are Zimbabweans who are exploiting those diamonds?

Daniel Ndlela: Well the fact that Zimbabweans have nothing to show for the minerals under the ground is quite a fact but the issue here - who is responsible for that 30 years after Independence ? Is it some foreigner out there or some people who are ruling us? Governance is about fairness, is about transparency, is not about empowering a few people.

Mandiwanzira I agree with Daniel that there's somebody to blame for the past 30 years but at last finally we are seeing some action so we applaud it. We now have an opportunity to make sure that it is happening and we are controlling it.

Gonda: But Supa, why has it taken 30 years to redress this situation?

Mandiwanzira Unfortunately you are asking the wrong person, you must ask those people who were responsible. I think that as AAG and other empowerment groups, we've been making this noise for many, many years. And I know for a fact that the move that we began to see in the financial sector where licences, banking licences were then issued to people like Mutumwa and others, was out of this push to say how can you continue to have a few organisations, few determining who should get money and what sort of terms, why don't we allow our own people to get into these sectors like banking? That's why we saw that happening out of that pressure. So I think the same sort of pressure that has been put on government to say where can we not see our people playing a part in the biggest of enterprises that were achieved by some people simply by getting a government stand, why can we not get into those assets? Because the majority of these mines were given away, these concessions were given away by just a government rubber stamp, nothing else. No money brought in, no evidence of money, special concessions, bank your money in foreign countries, do whatever you want, you don't pay tax for the next five years and all these kind of things. We are simply saying if you are giving a foreigner that benefit, 51% of that benefit must accrue to a Zimbabwean.

Gonda: Daniel, do you have anything to add?

Ndlela The point here, the moralistic behaviour of people at the top of leadership positions is sickening and that is actually the point. And as long as we have a situation where all these laws are done in opaqueness, in areas that you don't understand what is happening, empowering whether it's indigenous empowering - it is about empowering a few. Supa is the president now, where is the former popular president? He has enriched himself, he is quiet. So is this about the empowering of Zimbabweans? . . .

Mandiwanzira We don't believe at the Affirmative Action that we must be like graders - we open the way for others and we are not allowed to walk on that same road.

Ndlela OK so as soon as you are empowered you disappear Supa?

Mandiwanzira There's absolutely nothing wrong with anyone who is with AAG or any other empowerment group to make money. And blacks must not be apologetic for being rich because it is their country and it is their resources.

Ndlela At this point in time I think if we were to come back to the subject matter is that we have to talk about governance and leadership positions in this whole matter so that we know very well that we are talking about the people who actually should be empowered. The people to me who should be empowered are the working people of this country, not the few intellectuals who are intellectually dishonest in the first place. The people to be empowered are the people to be empowered through the normal avenues of empowerment not the avenues of actually picking up the few and then the minister is going to allocate from his head that Supa is number one in this thing and next is Supa number two and of course I'm not going to put my hat in that thing.

Gonda: Do you believe companies should even bother to fill in their plans for indigenisation by March 01 or defy this, or worse still, strip down the assets and close?

Ndlela Well, there's no question of believing or not believing. The law has been set, the companies are going to behave in a way that they will actually be safeguarding their interests. What will their interests be here? Their interests in the next five years, they will not invest so that the cake is smaller because it is going to be taken over by the new 51% ownership. So companies are actually going to be less enthusiastic, may close down or may keep the status quo as it is but without investing because if you have your money you must invest your money where your mouth is. You're not going to invest your money where other people are going to come in. And you don't even know who is going to be in bed with you until somebody is then allocated to you. Companies are either going to follow the rule because this is the letter of the law or are going to bolt out.

Gonda: And Peta, we said at the beginning of this discussion that Morgan Tsvangirai, the Prime Minister in this coalition government, that the move had been made without his knowledge, so first of all, did he really need to be consulted since the law was passed in parliament and what does this also say about how this unity government is operating?

Thornycroft: Well from what I've read of the GPA and we've all been writing about it for long enough, yes, Morgan should have been consulted about it. He is the Prime Minister of this country but he seems to have no power. Things seem to take place which he has absolutely no power to stop. People being arrested, let's go back to where Mutumwa was talking about his company being specified and so little has been written about this both by us foreign journalists and the domestic journalists, what happened to Mutumwa's companies. But when it hit Meikles, and I am presuming it hit Meikles because journalists or those who visited Zimbabwe know about Meikles Hotel, there was this enormous outcry. Giles Mutsekwa, the MDC Minister signed this specification apparently idiotically and it has in fact, allegedly been reversed. But beyond that it seems to me that in the inclusive government it's Mugabe's decision about whether something will or will not be fulfilled from the Global Political Agreement.

It's nearly 18 months since the Global Political Agreement was signed but we're stuck, paralysed with the inclusive government, at the moment with outstanding issues. I was at the SADC Summit where these things were agreed and we're still quibbling about it. Until we have a new constitution, so that we're going to free and fair elections, why would anybody invest in us? Because we don't know what is going to happen and we've got a very poor record of elections. In 2008 from March 28th or about April 11th until June 30th, I was in hospital, interviewing injured people because we had an election. So we've got a very bad record here. We have a very bad record of our government taking money, we have a very bad record of the de-industrialisation of this country. We've lost at least 40 or maybe 60% of the industries we had in 1980, particularly in the last ten years. So we are a very bad, risky country and until the political situation is sorted out and we can move into free and fair elections without being beaten up because you want to support whoever it is in your area, and until we have all of those normal aspects of democracy, I can't imagine there being any investment at all. Let alone when you can go to jail if you haven't managed to sort out 51% shareholding requirements of a company that you might have been building up for 15, 20 or 40 years.

It's nonsense that nothing or any progress can be made until the political side of the country, the governance is sorted out, that has to come first before we have regulations about handing over 51% of companies because they might be foreign owned. And we say the mining companies contributed nothing to this country? No, I think even in 1980, even despite all the racial discrimination and how unfair it was for black people, we got some roads, we got some hospitals, we got some stuff out of it and we haven't done a hell of a lot since then. Since 1980 - what have we done to expand our industrial base, our mineral exploitation, and our retail base - what have we done?

Gonda: Supa, let me come to you to get your comment on this statement made by the Prime Minister that the regulations are null and void since this issue was not discussed in Cabinet. What can you say about this?

Mandiwanzira Well I am pretty much aware that these regulations were gazetted by a government in which the Prime Minister is part of and that the Minister who gazetted the regulations reports to the Prime Minister in the Council of Ministers, and that this was done by the government of Zimbabwe . Now the Prime Minister says he was not consulted and they are null and void I don't know how the whole process can be reversed and I do not like to talk about that but as far as I'm concerned and as we are concerned at the AAG, this is the law, if you want to change the law you've got to take the whole process back to parliament and see what you can do. And as far as we are concerned, we are taking them as legal, as the law as this has been done by the inclusive government. Whether one has been consulted or not consulted we believe those are only deficiencies in that inclusive government and we have nothing to do with those deficiencies, as far as we are concerned this is the right thing that has happened, we are moving on.

Gonda: But this is the Prime Minister saying this is not the right thing and this regulation was sneaked through. So is that not a problem?

Mandiwanzira Unfortunately the Movement for Democratic Change in parliament with ZANU PF, they passed this law so unfortunately it's action after. You know I think it should have been stopped if the Prime Minister and his political party didn't agree, it should have been stopped at the process of being legislated. Unfortunately you cannot now say when you have legislated law and say you don't like it. You want to change it, go back and start the process again.

Thornycroft: Well it . . .

Gonda: But as we all know, this was done when ZANU PF was still in the majority in parliament.

Mandiwanzira Well because they had been voted by the people of Zimbabwe to be in the majority.

Gonda: Peta, you wanted to say something?

Thornycroft: I just wanted to say that this went through parliament literally days before parliament was dissolved and ZANU PF was in the majority and I can't actually recall, and I tried to look it up, what the MDC actually said about this legislation and we should in fact be consulting them and ask them what they thought about it then and did they or didn't they put up a good fight about it, but they only had about 42 MPs then.

Gonda: Mutumwa, your thoughts on this?

Mawere I think it's always difficult to, you can comment about the process and whether you're consulted or whether you are not, but at the end of the day, what the country requires now, it requires some adjustment, requires a different viewpoint, a different world view and if we know that the kind of changes that we are talking about can bring the results that are predictable and sustainable then well and good. But when you know what has happened in other countries pursuing similar policies and you then say look, irrespective of that let me go head on. The law in question was passed as Peta has rightly said, before the inclusive government and before the elections and people of Zimbabwe spoke and I think their voice really saying let Zimbabweans find each other, find the most optimal way of advancing the nation that's the interest - that requires now consultation and if the Prime Minister says he was not consulted because now they are in a position where they need to ventilate their own ideas and people who may see the world differently from the people who controlled parliament at the time, they have to deal with it.

Even our laws - POSA, AIPPA, even the Reconstruction Act was passed - it doesn't make it a good law and whether you're consulted and somebody's driving, you may consult a passenger but at the end of the day, if you fall asleep on the steering, you'll have an accident, it doesn't change the speed but surely you must be able to say to your people who are in the car today and say this is where we are, we need to go to Point A or Point B, what is the best way of getting there. And if Supa believes in his own bones that this is the best way to build a nation, then that's it - then we would have to look at Supa and say how have you build yours - around a collective structure where your profits become subject to corporate social responsibility or whether indeed you have advanced your own interests and if you die today, your family is the successor to that.

What kind of society does Zimbabwe need to be and what kind of society we encourage anyone, not just people who were born in Zimbabwe, those who may be born outside Zimbabwe, albeit with Zimbabwean parents or those who are born outside Zimbabwe with no Zimbabwean parents to believe in the promise of Zimbabwe and that requires not just minerals, that it's our minerals, it requires people to build confidence and that's what we should be focussing on. Without it you might have the best resources in the world but they will remain in the ground and without it you may have the best laws, all the procedures you say you are implementing but you know it's toxic at the end of the day because it discourages the very people we need to build the country and provide confidence that jobs will be there and the country can advance its own interest. Zimbabwe is too small to be able to command its own destiny without other people's input.

So I think those are the areas that I would rather focus on. As the Prime Minister in the inclusive government, there's a contestation for power because there's a transitional structure but what is not transitional is Zimbabwe . Zimbabwe will remain whether this President or that President or this Prime Minister or that Prime Minister, but what are Zimbabwe 's interests and how can they best be advanced. Does this law advance? Does the Reconstruction Law advance? Does AIPPA, does POSA advance the Zimbabwean cause? And we may decide to broaden the conversation so that we also understand why people would leave Zimbabwe if there was promise - and if this law, I guess judging by what Supa is saying, we will have now new plane loads and bus loads of people coming back because the Indigenisation Law has given some life. I don't believe so. People will remain where they are because there are other things that drive the human spirit.

Gonda: OK, let me just finish by getting a final word from Daniel Ndlela?

Ndlela As far as this law is concerned, we will wait to see but the immediate perception of this law, it's a bad law. It's a law that is not going to encourage investment in our country. Whether we praise ourselves and say so on and say let those who come from the east or come from the south, they will come here, the law itself is really not going to assist us. When it comes to the consultation between the Prime Minister and so on, that has to be sorted out there. In other words they show there is a serious lack of governance in the system as a whole, let them sort out that one, but as far as this law is concerned it is coming at a time when Zimbabweans actually needed more money into our system and a fresh money into the system and the law itself is not going to encourage that.

Gonda: Supa, a final word?

Mandiwanzira Well my final word is this; that I'm not suggesting, as has been said by Mawere, that there are going to be plane loads of Zimbabweans coming back because of the Indigenisation Law. My point is this; that here is now an opportunity for Zimbabweans who have worked so hard in the Diaspora to come back and come and serve themselves, not serve the same master who they were serving overseas or in other countries, that's one. The second point that I need to make is that people need to read and understand this law and the investors more importantly need to understand this law because if they rely on media reports they will be misled. The reality is that there is a process that says an investor must identify the right partner and that right partner must pay market value for whatever shareholding they are getting. And I would like to encourage every Zimbabwean to say this is an opportunity to come and board and make a difference, this is not a free for all, you've got to raise money and you've got to be able to buy into a business that you can take forward not a business that you can run down. So I'm saying this is the festive season for all banks, for all sons to now look at opportunities that they can now develop in Zimbabwe . If you do not come on board, this train is not stopping no matter how much people talk against this move, the train is not stopping, come on board and let's go.

Gonda: Mutumwa?

Mawere Yes I think there are a lot of lessons available in the world of what can be done and what should not be done and I think we all should also rely on what has worked and what has not worked and there are some laws that will not advance the collective interests of the country and such laws require review and require interrogation and the more we do that, the more we find what really should work for the country's interest.

Gonda: And Peta?

Thornycroft: It's so difficult to do business in Zimbabwe anyway. The record of the previous government has been to legislate, restrict, control, take over and interfere with. And so we have an economy 30 years after Independence that is a small fraction of what it was in 1980, where industries have closed down and where perhaps only the retail sector has enlarged. We desperately need industries that create goods, services, jobs and a law like this is just anti expansion. It's actually a childish law, it's a law based on spitefulness. It has nothing to do with creating a Zimbabwe where the majority of the population is employed and where the raw materials are beneficiated for everyone's good - for the companies' good, for the workers' good etc. ZANU PF has no record of success and Minister Saviour Kasukuwere who has created these legislations in consultation with his colleagues, should be advised to do what is necessary to expand the economy and not contract it. At the beginning of this debate I said instead of taking over companies, 51% no matter how it is done, why is the energy of this country not going into creating new companies even to replace those companies that have closed down in the last ten to 15 years? That would be creative, this is just destructive.

Gonda: That was businessman Mutumwa Mawere, economist Daniel Ndlela, the President of the Affirmative Action Group Supa Mandiwanzira and journalist Peta Thornycroft speaking on the programme Hot Seat.

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