Senior officials of the ZANU-PF party of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and top business executives with ties to the Affirmative Action Group have started positioning to claim shares in Zimbabwe Platinum Holdings, the country's largest platinum mine under the controversial indigenization or black empowerment program, sources say.
The sources said former Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga has already set up a consortium with top politicians, business chiefs and local residents of Mashonaland West province in a bid to forcibly take over the mining enterprise.
They said other top ZANU PF politicians seeking share stakes include Information Minister Webster Shamu, Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo and other members of the former ruling party's politburo and central committee.
Matonga, Shamu and Chombo could not be reached for comment. But sources said they want to force ZimPlats to cede a 51 percent stake without compensation.
Affirmative Action Group President Supa Mandiwanzira said politicians have a right to take a stake in such companies under the country’s indigenization program.
But economic commentator Bekithemba Mhlanga said politicians lack the capital to buy shares in large enterprises like ZimPlats. "If sources of funding are investment vehicles then the money can be used to buy shares at ZimPlats, but that can't be the case when broke politicians divert public funds," Mhlanga said.