The Minister for Small to Medium Enterprises Sithembiso Nyoni has expressed concern over the takeover of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by foreigners, a development which is contrary to Zimbabwe’s indigenisation laws.
Nyoni told the National Assembly last week that foreigners have displaced locals from the retail and wholesale sectors and indigenous people end up trading on streets and pavements. Said Nyoni:
I am going to be very unpopular as we look into the revised Indigenisation Act (2018).
There are certain sectors that are reserved for Zimbabweans but where you find a lot of foreigners occupying those sectors, a case in point is retail — if you go into greater Harare and this is where I will also need the support of other ministers, all stakeholders and even maybe the local Members of Parliament.
You will find that a lot of these places are occupied by foreigners who are into retail and wholesaling. The sector is reserved for locals while Zimbabweans are selling outside on the streets.
Initially, the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Bill signed into law On March 9, 2008, by the then president, the late Robert Mugabe gave Zimbabweans the right to take over and control many foreign-owned companies in the country.