Stockbrokers work on the floor of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) in Harare Photo: Reuters
Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe is probably one of the most controversial leaders in the world. He is determined to make everything black-owned, even if by force. Is this fair to those who are having their assets taken? Some say “no,” but others point to years of colonialism, where whites were the ones going to Africa and taking things for themselves.
His new economic plans are considered to be harmful to the country, but he was elected by a landslide. Is he any more or any less corrupt than other leaders around the world? The jury is out on that one. One thing’s for sure – it’s surprising that the US or European nations haven’t come after him to try to take him down. His long-term survival as the leader is nothing short of miraculous.
The plan to grab mining companies, most of which are South African-owned, follows President Robert Mugabe’s landslide re-election last week.
Saviour Kasukawere, the ‘indigenisation’ minister, said on Tuesday that the government or black Zimbabweans would take 51 per cent of the shares in all major foreign-owned companies, valued at about £4.8 billion. No compensation will be paid.
John Robertson, an independent economist in Harare, said: “There is no logic in that plan. He is in danger of introducing economic apartheid which is absurd.”
Mr Robertson added: “I think this is only politicking and there is no substance to this.”
Metals and minerals, including platinum and gold, accounted for 71 per cent, or £480 million, of Zimbabwe’s total exports last year.
South Africa has a bilateral trade and protection agreement with Zimbabwe. If the regime presses ahead and seizes a controlling stake in South African mining companies, they could use these agreements to secure compensation or the return of assets via international courts.