INDIGENISATION minister Saviour Kasukuwere yesterday told parliament that any person who operates a business without a valid Indigenisation Compliance Certificate risks imprisonment of up to four months with effect from January 1, 2014, according to the newly gazetted Statutory Instrument 66 of 2013.
The new regulations come into effect at a time many companies in the finance, agriculture, tourism and retail sectors have not complied with the 51% indigenisation policy that was implemented in 2010.
Kasukuwere told the thematic committee on Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment chaired by Gokwe North senator Tariro Mtingwende that the new regulations will affect every business starting from January next year in all sectors of the economy reserved for indigenous Zimbabweans under Third schedule of the regulations.
Kasukuwere said: “Any person who operates a business referred to above without an indigenisation compliance certificate with effect from January I 2014 shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding Level Four or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months or both.”
Kasukuwere singled out two foreign multinational companies he said were defying complying with indigenisation regulations.“Tongaat Hullett and Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe have displayed a non-cooperative attitude,” he said.
Kasukuwere further revealed that compliance by some companies has been delayed by the issuance of new sector specific regulations. “Gazetting of specific general notices changed the timeframes and thresholds for compliance previously prescribed in general regulations and some have new compliance periods ranging from 2012 to 2015 depending on the relevant sector and threshold,” he said.He applauded BAT Zimbabwe, Lafarge, Schweppes Zimbabwe Ltd, Portland Cement and Old Mutual for complying.
These companies created employee ownership schemes, disposed of shares to the National Indigenisation Economic Empowerment Fund and provided funding for youths empowerment trusts.