Eyewitness News | Today, 18:42
ZIMBABWE, Harare – President Robert Mugabe's government appears to have gone back on a threat to arrest foreign business owners still operating after the New Year saying that in fact they will be allowed to stay on.
The controversial regulations, which were part of the government's indigenisation policy, were seen to be targeted at mainly Nigerian and Chinese small scale business operators and provoked some accusations of xenophobia.
Fears of another economic crisis are growing in Zimbabwe, while President Robert Mugabe says this has nothing to do with his controversial indigenisation policy, the authorities do seem keen to stress this will be an ordinary programme.
Last month a government official said foreigners had until Tuesday to get out of the so–called reserve sectors like retail, hairdressing and transport or face jail.
But now the Indigenisation Minister Francis Nhema says foreigners operating in these sectors should carry on doing so, as long as they help new indigenous players.
The minister told The Sunday Mail that foreign businesses have provided goods and services to Zimbabweans during the country's most difficult times.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's ambassador to Australia has asked for political asylum just days before her term ends saying she fears for her safety if she goes home, media reported on Saturday.