Zimbabwe’s MDC Pledges to Reverse Empowerment Law After Election

Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change party will reverse a law forcing foreign and white-owned companies to sell 51 percent of their shares to black Zimbabweans if it wins this year’s election, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said.

“We will reverse indigenization laws and create new empowerment laws for the majority of the people of Zimbabwe,” Tsvangirai told party supporters at a rally held in the capital, Harare, today.

Zimbabweans can’t “all share a small cake, so we’ll have to create a bigger cake,” Tsvangirai said, referring to the country’s economy.

Zimbabwe’s indigenization law has forced miners like Anglo American Platinum Ltd. and Aquarius Platinum Ltd. to show how they’ll sell or cede control to black Zimbabweans or the state’s National Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Board. Banks such as Barclays Plc, Standard Chartered Plc and South Africa’s Standard Bank Group Ltd. are also affected by the law.

The southern African nation is due to hold elections this year, ending a five-year power-sharing agreement between Tsvangirai’s MDC and President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

That agreement was brokered by the regional Southern African Development Community after elections in 2008 were marred by violence, mainly against MDC supporters.