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Government reviews stake in private entities

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Frank Harawa

The government is reviewing the level of its ownership in institutions it has stakes in as part of a strategy to support private sector growth.

Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe said this over the weekend during the launch of Minority Shareholders Association of Listed Companies (Misalico).

The remarks come amid calls that the government should offload some of its stakes in some of the companies and offer them to the public for investment.

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Gwengwe said the calls have always been there and the government has taken heed of them but will not make a hasty decision.

“There is an exercise which we are conducting internally at the ministry and we want to see the timing and the procedure of doing such so that it is fair to everyone. This is not something we can do in a rush because we have drawn lessons of how such exercises were done in the past,” he said

Misalico, for example, argues that the government should offload some stakes to strategic partners.

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The association’s secretary general Frank Harawa is of the view that such a development will be helpful to new investors, minority shareholders and government at large.

“There is a lot of competition now on the market,” he said.

Apart from Sunbird, the government holds a majority shareholding which allows it to control operations in other companies such as Salima Sugar Company through the Greenbelt Authority.

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