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Zimbabwe orders foreign retail companies to halt work

Staff writer |
Zimbabwe has given all foreign companies and foreigners operating retail and wholesale businesses, including bakeries and grain milling companies, a deadline of January 1, 2014 to stop their operations.

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The directive is in line with the country's indigenisation laws that prohibit non-indigenous Zimbabweans from operating in sectors that are reserved for local indigenous Zimbabweans.

Secretary for Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment George Magosvongwe told legislators that non-indigenous entities still operating in the reserved sectors have a deadline of January 1 to comply with the requirement to relinquish their holdings in that sector. According to The Herald, he said his ministry was putting enforcement measures in place in the event that those affected do not comply.

Mr. Magosvongwe said the government was in the process of identifying indigenous Zimbabweans who would take over ownership of those businesses in the particular sectors. This, he said, was meant to avoid creating shortages when the foreigners leave. "There is a need to ensure that we don't create shortages in the economy, but certainly the ministry is going to enforce the rule relating to reserved sectors."

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