Sunday, February 27, 2011

Foreigners Loot Zimbabwe Mineral Resources

Foreigners loot Zim mineral resources

Sunday, 27 February 2011 09:17

President Mugabe prepares to hoist 87 ballons into the air while celebrating his birthday in Harare yesterday.

By Tafadzwa Chiremba

FOREIGNERS with massive shareholdings in Zimbabwe’s major mining companies are raking in billions of dollars while no meaningful revenue gets into the country’s coffers, President Mugabe has said.

Attacking platinum mining giant Zimbabwe Platinum Mines (Zimplats), President Mugabe told delegates and party supporters attending the 21st February Movement celebrations in Harare yesterday that Zimplats has contributed nothing substantial to the development of the country.

Zimplats is 87 percent foreign-owned by South African-based Impala Platinum and posted more than US$250 million revenue in the half year ending December 31 2010.

The company has previously been accused of failing to contribute to the country’s development and clandestinely contracting foreign companies for its various expansion projects in Zimbabwe at the expense of local firms.

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces said a lot of revenue from the natural resources was being siphoned.

“Zimplats has never ever given us any real substantial amount.

Varikungodutira mari vachiendesa kuSouth Africa (they are channelling the proceeds to South Africa,” he said.

The President called on Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Cde Saviour Kasukuwere to work on indigenising the foreign-owned mining companies soon.

“There is a lot of money that is not benefiting the country. There are huge deposits of platinum and gold. Let’s now deal with these companies.

“Gold is yielding more than US$1 000 per ounce outside the country. But where is the money going? We are not getting it. We are going to take our companies to account.

“That is why we are saying Cde Kasukuwere let’s deal with this issue soonest.”

He added that indigenisation was long overdue.

“These enterprises have been under the control of settlers and those settlers would do what they wanted. That freedom must cease and we must get into these companies and get majority shares,” he said.

“Zvekuti ndiri CEO zvagara zviripo kani. Zvakutotifinha (For a long time, indigenous people have wanted to be the CEOs of other people’s companies. Let us aim to be company owners).”

While commending Mbada Diamonds and Marange Resources for their operations at the Chiadzwa diamond fields, the President said there was scope to increase the 51 percent indigenisation threshold in foreign-owned companies.

Recently, the two companies presented to Government a combined dividend of US$174 million, which Cde Mugabe said, should be directed towards increasing civil service salaries.

Yesterday’s celebrations drew thousands of Zimbabweans from all walks of life, among them politicians, Cabinet ministers, business executives, service chiefs and youths.

President Mugabe said his past had provided a foundation for his life.
“We are all bearers of the past. We therefore must never forget that we carry the burden from the past,” he said.

He urged Zimbabweans to desist from multiple sexual relationships so as to win the fight against HIV and Aids.-The Sunday Mail

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