Republic of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe went on a fact-finding tour through two diamond mining projects in the Southern African nation. Zimbabwe is reported to be a large-scale depository of diamonds., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Mining: No more room for foreigners
Saturday, 16 June 2012 18:08
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
NO more new mining licences will be granted to foreigners as Government intensifies the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment policy, President Mugabe has said.
The President urged geologists and mining engineers to form consortiums to exploit mineral resources.
He said this while addressing a Zanu-PF Women’s League seminar in Darwendale where they were meeting to formulate a plan of action for 2012 and evaluate their activities.
The Women’s League, through its leadership, had raised several grievances to the Party’s First Secretary.
The President said the indigenisation programme, was more than just the party or Government building its image or asserting its rights.
“That’s the lesser part of it. What we should do in a much more massive way is to organise our people, put them together . . . our geologists, mining engineers, let them form companies so that we don’t give foreigners.
“This 49 percent is a whole lot of money.
Zvatakaita izvozvo zvakakwana. Ngatichiita isu zvedu tega muserefu,” he said.
“Can’t we dig our own gold? We can borrow on the strength of the minerals.”
The President said there were reports of the discovery of diamonds in Chimanimani which were still to be verified.
He said if this turned out to be true, no foreigners will be given licences to mine there.
The challenge with these mining technocrats, he said, was that they did not believe in themselves since they have been used to working for white employers for a long time.
He criticised Finance Minister Tendai Biti for being reluctant to support Bulawayo’s industry despite a Government position to give firms there loans to revive their businesses.
White settlers, he said, used Bulawayo as their industrial hub and built several areas which the Government now took a deliberateposition to revive.
He said Minister Biti had not only been reluctant to take up the US$500 million Special Drawing Rights from the International Monetary Fund, but to disburse it to revive Bulawayo industries.
“If Bulawayo goes down, the whole country goes down. We said put the money there and (Industry and Commerce Minister Professor Welshman) Ncube was keen about that, but Biti said he had just put US$20 million.”
Cde Mugabe also castigated Minister Biti for his reluctance to adequately fund the Grain Marketing Board to enable it to pay farmers for grain deliveries.
“This business of delaying payment is done sometimes because MDC does not want to promote agriculture,” he said.
The President slammed banks charging excessive interest rates, adding that some of them had stolen people’s money.
Turning to elections, he said some people who were afraid of elections were pushing that they be held next year in the hope that he, as the Zanu-PF candidate, would have grown older and incapacitated.
“Vamwe vanoti VaMugabe vanofa muna 2013. Ko chandinofira chii, ini ndakangoti gwindiri zvangu? They say perhaps vanenge vavakubata mudonzvo, but I am still very far from that,” he said.
The President said while his political detractors in MDC-T were claiming he was ill, he was aware of most of their leaders who are not feeling well.
“We know the ailments with some of them. Kune maARV, ndiwo arikuvasimbaradza.”
Cde Mugabe said there was need to end the Global Political Agreement through an election this year.
“Why continue riding on a donkey when a horse is there?”
The President said he had received reports that one Zanu-PF senior official was printing party cards illegally and clandestinely for his selfish gain.
He said police were investigating the matter and the official will be named and corrective action taken in due course.
There were also party officials who were leasing farms to white farmers, he said.
The President said such people should surrender the farms to Government.
Cde Mugabe said he was aware some people in Copac wanted to change the national flag, but vowed that would never happen.
“That’s the essence of our revolution,” he said.
The President urged party members to remain united.
Earlier, Zanu-PF Women’s League Secretary Cde Oppah Muchinguri had said District Co-ordinating Committee elections had divided people in the party as some bigwigs were imposing their people using the President’s name.
“When one wins, there is an order for a rerun because their faction would have lost. Vamwe vanonyepa kuti vanokudai ivo varikudhisitiroya party. Vamwe vanouya vachikunyeperai,” she said.
Cde Muchinguri said the Women’s League’s operations in provinces and other lower tiers were paralysed because leaders took away vehicles allocated to the league.
She said money realised from 500 000 party cards sold was not properly accounted for and she called for the league to take ownership of the selling of party cards to its members.
Cde Sarah Mahoka said women were sidelined during DCC elections.
She said vehicles belonging to the Women’s League were being converted to pool cars, leaving them with nothing to use.
“President tinokumbira kuti zvigebenga zvakaba fertiliser zvisungwe nezvakaabhiyuza mari yeConstituency Development Fund,” said Cde Mahoka, who is Mashonaland West Women’s League chairperson.
Senate President Cde Edna Madzongwe, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and other senior Government and party officials attended the event.