Tuesday, 20 March 2018


Amendments to the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act have been gazetted in a move signaling the government’s commitment to opening Zimbabwe for business.

The development has been welcomed, with analysts saying the government is walking the talk on its promise to open Zimbabwe for business.

The amendments are contained in Section 42 of the Finance Act 1 of 2018 which was gazzetted as law in an extraordinary government gazette dated 14th March 2018.

An economic analyst, Dr Davison Gomo said the amendments will ensure policy consistence, lack of which was a concern to investors.

“The important thing is that it is now clear to investors what is expected of them. The amendments have basically opened up the country to foreign direct investment,” he said.

Some of the sweeping changes to the indigenisation law comprise Section 2a which states that the Act now applies only to the following businesses: a designated extractive business, that is one involved in the extraction of diamonds or platinum, and a business in one of the twelve reserved sectors of the economy which are a preserve of Zimbabwe citizens.

In addition, the reserved sector is no longer just for indigenous Zimbabweans but all citizens of the country.

According to the Act, apart from the reserved sectors and mining of diamonds and platinum, any person is free to “invest in, form, operate, and acquire the ownership or control” of any other business.

The 12 reserved sectors comprise transportation – passenger buses, taxis and car hire services; retail and wholesale trade; barber shops, hairdressing and beauty salons; employment agencies; estate agencies; valet services; grain milling; bakeries; tobacco grading and packaging; advertising agencies; provision of local arts and crafts and their marketing and distribution; and artisanal mining.

An indigenisation and economic empowerment unit and fund will be established.

This will be a unit within the ministry staffed entirely by members of the civil service and headed by a director.

It will replace the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB), which functioned as an autonomous body outside the civil service framework.

Companies will also have an opportunity to revise their indigenisation implementation plans already approved under Si 21/2010.


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