Article Zimbabwe: Indigenization and Empowerment Act

(Apr. 2, 2008) President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe signed into law the Indigenization and Empowerment Act on March 7, 2008. The Act requires foreign-owned companies to offer at least 51 percent of their shares to indigenous Zimbabweans, according to news reports. It is unclear whether the mining industry is covered by the Act, Joseph Malaba, the country's head of the Chamber of Mines, has stated. Although Parliament passed amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act, allowing the government "to take over a 25 percent stake in foreign-owned mining companies for free in part fulfillment of the 51 percent indigenisation quota," the revised law lapsed on February 16 because Mugabe failed to sign it. (Brian Latham, Zimbabwe's Mining Industry Seek State Clarification on New Law, BLOOMBERG.COM, Mar. 10, 2008, available at http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=af38pzYHjnm4; Dumisani Ndlela, Zimbabwe: Stakeholders Cautious on New Law, FINANCIAL GAZETTE (Harare), Mar. 13, 2008, available at http://allafrica.com/stories/200803130628.html.)

The Indigenization and Empowerment Act also provides for the creation of an empowerment fund to finance the acquisition of working capital, shares, and other forms of finance for indigenous people, with the National Investment Trust (NIT) to be constituted as a special account for the fund. The NIT previously failed to raise capital for the purchase of a 15-percent share reserved for indigenous Zimbabweans in the platinum-producing company Zimplats, however. (Dumisani Ndlela, supra.)

Market analysts have been quoted as saying that the Act will "effectively seal Zimbabwe's fate as a pariah to international capital" (Id.). Marian Tupy, a Cato Institute policy analyst, condemned the Act even more strongly, as "yet another step on Zimbabwe's road to economic suicide" that will "expropriate non-black owners, while providing the ZANU-PF [ruling party] elite with a new source of income. The biggest victims of the Orwellian measure … will be the black majority." (Cato Scholar Comments on Zimbabwe's Indigenization and Economic Empowerment, Cato Institute Web site, Mar. 10, 2008, available at Act http://www.cato.org/pressroom.php?display=comments&id=859.)

About this Item

Title
Zimbabwe: Indigenization and Empowerment Act
Online Format
web page

Rights & Access

Publications of the Library of Congress are works of the United States Government as defined in the United States Code 17 U.S.C. §105 and therefore are not subject to copyright and are free to use and reuse.  The Library of Congress has no objection to the international use and reuse of Library U.S. Government works on loc.gov. These works are also available for worldwide use and reuse under CC0 1.0 Universal. 

More about Copyright and other Restrictions.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Credit Line: Law Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Zimbabwe: Indigenization and Empowerment Act. 2008. Web Page. https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2008-04-02/zimbabwe-indigenization-and-empowerment-act/.

APA citation style:

(2008) Zimbabwe: Indigenization and Empowerment Act. [Web Page] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2008-04-02/zimbabwe-indigenization-and-empowerment-act/.

MLA citation style:

Zimbabwe: Indigenization and Empowerment Act. 2008. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2008-04-02/zimbabwe-indigenization-and-empowerment-act/>.

More Articles like this