Zimbabwe Mining: Mugabe Wants Your Bucks


ugabe declared that "recapitalisation of the mining industry remains an immediate imperative."

Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe told the annual general meeting of the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines that "government has no intention of expropriating the mining industry. No mine has been nationalised since independence." On the contrary, Mugabe declared that "recapitalisation of the mining industry remains an immediate imperative."

Mugabe is apparently bending over in several directions to reassure investors. Government is exploring, says Mugabe, "the path of profitable partnerships and joint venture initiatives with foreign investors in the mining sector. It is our belief that this situation has the potential for a sustainable win-win partnership . . ."

In his speech, Mugabe said that government has "accepted the principle of empowerment credits" as an integral component of the 51% equity that Zimbabwean citizens are required, on the face of it, to hold in enterprises where foreign investors are present.

The credits allow the foreign investing mining company to claim against the 51% requirement. Mugabe said that "premier initiatives that qualify for empowerment credits" include the areas of (local) procurement, capacitating industries, and fostering new companies owned by indigenous persons.

Further credits can be claimed for corporate social investment in communities, which "creates a visible platform for local empowerment, thus achieving broad based and transformative empowerment." Credits are also available for initiatives such as construction of dams and irrigation schemes, and approved scholarship and skills development programs.

Zimbabwe's formal mining sector employs some 45,000, contributes around 50% of exports, and comprises nearly 20% of GDP. Mining is, argues Mugabe, "deservedly a key sector providing impetus for growth and economic development."

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