Zim: Seizure claims meant as threat

2012-04-05 22:59

Harare - Zimbabwe threatened on Thursday to take over foreign mining companies that fail to hand over a majority stake to locals, as required by law, toning down an earlier statement that it was taking immediate ownership.

Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said in a statement earlier on Thursday that the state had taken majority shares in foreign mining firms which had not sold 51% of their equity to black Zimbabweans as required.

Kasukuwere later told AFP that the statement had been meant as a threat so as to encourage foreign miners to comply with the law forthwith.

"The notice is simply to urge those companies that have not complied or are dilly dallying to submit their plans as required by the law...and we are saying to all the companies they should complete their negotiations with the government and bring the issue to finality," he said.

Zimbabwe passed laws two years ago requiring foreign companies to cede 51 percent of their shares to "indigenous Zimbabweans".

The largest foreign miners in Zimbabwe have already reached deals with the government and should not be affected by the announcement.

These include Unki - owned by the biggest producer of platinum in the world, the British-South African combine Anglo American - and Zimplats, the local unit of the world's second-biggest platinum miner, South African's Impala Platinum.


The law would be implemented retroactively from September 25 2011, when companies had to hand in plans on how they intended to sell their majority shares.

Companies have to pay to the government its share in profits gained from that date, according to the earlier statement.

"We expect everyone to respect the law. The companies that have not complied are being asked to approach the indigenisation board and if there is need for compensation they should discuss that with the board," Kasukuwere told AFP.

The minister was not immediately able to give details on how many or which companies would be affected.

Zimbabwe's Chamber of Mines was not available for comment.

Meanwhile Finance Minister Tendai Biti said foreign banks would not be similarly affected.

"We are saying for the banking sector it can't be 51%", Biti said at a news conference.

"Banks don't generate money. It's a sector you can't touch."

Central bank governor Gideon Gono said: "It's not right to destabilise the banking sector for short-term gratification that leads to unintended consequences."

  • Berthram Bowles - 2012-04-06 00:02

    so sad to see it happening but it's like a snake starting to eat its own tail.

  • amabhiza2 - 2012-04-06 03:31

    people should learn from their mistakes. and let them remember that millions of zimbabweans are suffering in diaspora trying to find jobs.Aiwa taramba kurarama zvezevezeve.

  • Hermann - 2012-04-06 05:09

    Theft seems to be inherent in Africa.

  • vuyo.zuccherro.gqwaru - 2012-04-06 07:07

    I say we as South Africa will be heading down the same destructive path as Zimbabwe, just a matter of time. My blog is

      Cassandra Olivier - 2012-04-06 09:05

      I have been saying the same thing

  • Hadebe - 2012-04-06 08:27

    Aluta continua, no one wil be in a comfort zone until we al share in our country s wealth. Those who have will always b on the defensive, n the have not wil always want economic change, why for God sake cant we just do it n c what happens, we just cant b silenced by being told to look at what is happening in zimbambwe n da rest of africa. Ownership of da land is inevitable, lets just look at a different way of doing it. It does nt matter whos saying what, we just cant watch a bunch of crooks having their way on the wealth of the country, black or pink. It belongs to all of us, nt just you n yo offsprings.

      Rob - 2012-04-06 13:03

      Who cares who owns the land, inevitably it is only on loan from the government of the day. What is far more important is that whoever has title must use the land for the benefit of all. Production targets, distribution targets, ecological targets whatever else the experts say. Mindless swapping is going to be destructive and we will all suffer.

  • George - 2012-04-06 10:41

    Bob my president....

  • Maphuri - 2012-04-06 13:33

    zim keeps what belong to them,they don't tolarate europeans thieves in the name of investment.

  • Blessed Ndlovu Maratuza - 2012-04-06 15:56

    The same happened before the land reform. Farmers were given the chance to share the land, and they refused. Miners shld jus go along or risk losing all.

  • Rob - 2012-04-06 17:16

    If we could find a market for chips a fortune could be made: it is obvious that there are a large number of people carrying them on their shoulders. Is there maybe a link between shoulder chips and ability to think clearly?

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