The Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines has appealed to Vice President Joice Mujuru to block the latest drive by the ZANU-PF wing of the Harare unity government to seize foreign mining companies, recently given 45 days to draft black empowerment plans.
Sources said the Chamber of Mines is worried the indigenization regulations will lead to the collapse of the mining industry. It is concerned at the lack of visible funding for black investment groups to take controlling stakes in mining firms, and at the short time frame of six months which officials have set for implementation of regulations.
Critics said Mujuru is not likely to halt the imminent take over of mining concerns as the indigenization program is an integral part of ZANU-PF's electoral strategy.
Affirmative Action Group President Supa Mandiwanzira said Mujuru should not block the process. “There is absolutely no reason why Mujuru should block this program because mining companies have failed during the past 32 years [since independence in 1980] to offer shares to indigenous people,” Mandiwanzira told reporter Gibbs Dube.
Development worker Liberty Bhebhe said Mujuru is unlikely to intervene. “ZANU PF wants to make indigenization part of their agenda for the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections and as such the vice president cannot derail her party’s strategies to win the minds of the public,” Bhebhe said.