Mnangangwa's Threats On Foreign Owned Companies Unlawful – Ncube

Harare, – Industry and Trade Minister Welshman Ncube has described as unlawful comments by Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa at the weekend in which he warned foreign- owned companies that they will be forced to reveal their stance on sanctions on Zimbabwe or risk losing 90' 'per cent' of their shares.

Mnangangwa told a Zanu (PF) gathering at the weekend in Gweru that the CEOs will have to be arraigned live on radio and declare their allegiance or risk losing 90 percent of their shares which will be subsequently sold and used to fight sanctions on Zimbabwe.

“If he said that, it’s an unlawful statement contrary to the constitution of Zimbabwe. It’s an unfortunate statement, I hope he didn’t say it, the inclusive government will not allow this,” said Ncube who is also the newly elected president of the smaller faction of the Movement of Democratic Change (MDC).

“If it was Zanu (PF) alone in government then it will have happened but it is an inclusive government and we will not agree to personal opinions.”

He added that the statements are suggesting that, “we are an unlawful government that accepts unlawful things. It is self evident that the statements will undermine the efforts to create a stable economic environment and attract investors.”

Mnangawa, a presidential aspirant, said his Zanu (PF) party will be rounding up CEOs of foreign companies and parade them on national media to state their positions on sanctions.

Zimbabwe has in the past meddled in the running of foreign businesses. In 2009 international beverages giant Nestle was forced to buy milk produced at President Robert Mugabe’s Gushungo farm despite raising concerns on its quality.

Ncube was forced to mediate in the matter after the company had closed down operations for a few weeks. The government is currently in the process of fine tuning an indigenisation legislation which seeks to compel all foreign owned firms with a capital outlay of $ 500 000 and above to cede 51 percent of its shares to foreign owned businesses.

There are about 500 foreign owned companies still operating in Zimbabwe despite threats of takeover. – Radio VOP