President reads riot act to mines

PRESIDENT Mugabe has read the riot act to foreign-owned firms that are refusing to comply with Zimbabwe’s indigenisation and empowerment laws, saying the door for negotiations has been closed. Speaking at the launch of the Zvishavane Community Share Trust at Mimosa Platinum Mine yesterday, the President directed Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere to urgently implement the programme without hesitation.

President Mugabe
President Mugabe

The directive follows indications that Mimosa was reluctant to cede 51 percent stake to indigenous Zimbabweans in line with the law, offering 30 percent.

The Zvishavane Community Share Ownership Trust becomes the third such scheme after President Mugabe launched the Chegutu-Mhondoro-Ngezi Zvimba Community Share Ownership Trust at Zimplats and the Tongogara Community Share Ownership Trust at Unki Mine in Shurugwi.

“All these companies which yesterday belonged to outsiders like Implats, Zimplats and others must now be subjected to the law of indigenisation and empowerment that requires that at least 51 percent of shareholding should belong to Zimbabweans.

“That must be complied with. There is no going back on this matter. Let them be told, let the Press tell them, let the relevant ministry finally tell them to comply.”

President Mugabe added: “Hapasisina hurukuro (No more discussions). The ministry should take action. Ndanga ndichiti zvandauya kuno (Mimosa) ndinowana zvagadziriswa (I thought I would find everything in place).”

He was referring to Mimosa chief executive Mr David Brown and the company’s foreign officials who did not attend yesterday’s event.

The President hailed Mimosa for donating US$10 million to the Zvishavane Community Share Ownership Trust, but said it was not enough.

“Asika muchiri chikara chesango. Ngachive chikara chemumba (You still belong to the wilderness. We hope you will be back home). You must belong to us,” he said.

President Mugabe said the challenge before the Government was to make it possible for Zimbabweans to participate in the mainstream economy.

“It boggles the mind that while Zimbabwe is well endowed with natural resources that are of a finite nature, particularly in the mining sector, since the onset of colonialism, Zimbabweans have not benefited from the exploitation of these resources.

“Instead, they continue to be under threat not to benefit now and in the future, mainly because of the neo-colonial forces currently threatening the African continent,” he said.

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