Most multinational mining companies operating in Zimbabwe have filed plans to comply with a government demand for indigenization of the sector, but sources said many propose to put just 26 percent of equity in local hands, not 51 percent.
Several mining executives said they submitted indigenization plans a few weeks ago and now await government’s response. They refused to go into details saying they don't want to derail negotiations with the government, but sources said most are not ready to pledge the 51 percent controlling stake for indigenous or black investors demanded.
Though mining companies understood the deadline to be Monday, based on published guidelines, but official sources said technically the companies still have a few more days to comply, taking into account recent Easter and other holidays.
Caledonia Mining Corporation Chief Executive Stefan Hayden said his company filed its indigenization proposal well ahead of the deadline.
“We have been very much aware of the deadline and we believe that we have complied with the indigenization requirements though we think that the 51 percent stake being demanded by government is too much,” said Hayden.
Zimbabwe Platinum Holdings Acting Chief Executive Patrick Maseva Shayawabaya said his company has also met the deadline.
Industry Minister Welshman Ncube said his ministry was not aware of the deadline, and added that ZANU-PF seems to be running a clandestine agenda in this respect.
Parliamentary Mines Committee Member Moses Mare said the government should give mining firms more time to submit their plans. He expressed serious misgivings about the indigenization program in the mining sector, likening it to the fast-track land-reform program which devastated agriculture after its launch in 2000.
Mines Minister Obert Mpofu and Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere could not be reached for comment