Zimplats plan rejected by Kasukuwere

Zimbabwean Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has dismissed an offer from Zimbabwe Platinum Mines or Zimplats to set aside 10 percent of shares for black Zimbabweans, saying he would rather do away with all foreign-owned mining firms than accept anything less than a 51 percent stake.

Kasukuwere, who recently visited Zimplats operations in Chegutu, Mashonaland West, dismissed the proposal made by the company as “crazy, retrogressive and unacceptable,” according to news reports.

Kasukuwere charged that Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy “is scared to visit all these foreign-owned mines in order to find out their shareholding structures and the manner in which they are serving surrounding communities.” The committee has been probing suspected irregularities in diamond mining in Marange district, eastern Zimbabwe.

Mining industry sources said Kasukuwere was expected to meet with Zimplats executives and representatives of the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines, whose similar 10-percent proposal he brushed off last week.

Political economist Rejoice Ngwenya told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that the minister’s outbursts do not take into account the needs of Zimbabweans.

“If the government closes down all these mining companies, many people will have no source of income and apart from that it won’t benefit anyone,” Ngwenya said. VOA was unable to reach Kasukuwere to confirm the reports or seek a response to his critics.

Meanwhile, the government is reported to be planning a database for indigenous Zimbabwean who want to acquire shares in various foreign-owned companies under the indigenization program.

State media quoted Kasukuwere as saying companies will identify indigenous business partners through the database to be established by his ministry.kasukuwere

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