Rio Zim’s media ban

One of Zimbabwe's mining giants, Rio Zimbabwe Limited, banned the media from covering its Extraordinary General Meeting held at its Head Office in Harare.

"I have been given strict instructions not to allow the media into the meeting," said an official. "You can only have interviews with officials after the EGM, but you cannot come in to listen to what is being said."

The move has raised eyebrows within the business community and stock market analysts because Rio Zim, one of Zimbabwe's major gold producers, has been largely accused of over-borrowing. It is alleged to have borrowed more than $50 million from commercial banks in Zimbabwe and has failed to repay the cash.

The company is now understood to be seriously in the red and the EGM was meant to try and thaw the bad blood that had developed between the top-heavy board and shareholders who have not received a dividend for years.

Analysts said the information published in the Rio Zim Annual Report for 2010 was "very confusing" and suggests that there could have been some foul play when giving information to shareholders and its accountants.

The report says the mining giant spent money on various projects over the past 10 years, but did not mention them. This also raised eyebrows among shareholders at a time when other firms in Zimbabwe are giving employees a stake in them.

Rio Zim is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) and is among the top mining firms on the bourse today.

Post published in: Business

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