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Zimbabwe: 'Foreigners Not Allowed to Operate in Reserved Sectors'

Zanu PF has embarked on a campaign to ensure that foreign nationals do not operate businesses in the economic sub-sectors reserved for Zimbabwean citizens.

Zanu PF secretary for Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Dr Mike Bimha has said the issue of reserved sectors was outlined in its revised Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Policy.

He said the reserved sectors should benefit and be owned by Zimbabwean citizens only and those already owned by foreigners should partner and empower locals.

The reserved sectors include, transport (passenger buses, taxis and car hire services), retailing, wholesaling, hair salons, advertising agencies, estate agencies, grain milling, bakeries, tobacco grading and packaging and artisanal mining. He also said foreign entities in reserved sectors were only allowed where firms would fund local production adding that local authorities were supposed to ensure that this aspect of policy was enforced.

"The reserved sectors are only for Zimbabwean citizens and not for foreigners. Local authorities must stop issuing licenses to foreigners," he said.

Dr Bimha said the economic empowerment department was supposed to establish robust systems for policing compliance.

There was need for a facility that provided funding and capacity building for citizens to increase their participation in business.

"The facility which must be supported by Government and the private sector can be in the form of a trust which is auditable, transparent and accountable. This fund will scale up the number of entrepreneurs in communities throughout the different value chains and test innovative economic empowerment approaches in order to share lessons learnt and build the evidence for effective business models. There must be pilot innovative interventions for the communities' economic empowerment in different sectors of the economy.

"Outside the Economic Empowerment Fund, assistance will also be sought from various vehicles and financial institutions such as Empower Bank, Women's Bank, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporation (SMEDCO) and commercial banks among others. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will give guidance in this area," said Dr Bimba.

A unit within the Zanu PF party and Government would oversee the implementation and evaluation of the Economic Empowerment Policy.

"Government should consider incorporating the main aspects of this policy as it amends the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, " he said.




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