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Businesses Back State Targeted Metallon, Vumbachigwe Mines

  • Gibbs Dube

Gold mining
Some members of top business organizations like the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines say the Ministry of Indigenization should be blocked from revoking licences of three big mining companies accused of allegedly refusing to comply with the country’s indigenization law.

At least five business executives of companies affiliated to the Chamber of Mines, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ) say the unity government should stop Minister Savour Kasukuwere from forcing foreign-owned firms to cede equity stakes to local people.

EMCOZ director John Mufukare said it is senseless for the minister to force Mmetallon Gold, Vumbachigwe Mines and John Mack Gold Mine to submit acceptable indigenization plans within the next few weeks or face closure.

Matson Hlalo, former Affirmative Action Group vice president and Mzilikazi senator, said it is unfortunate that Kasukuwere is now targeting some black-owned mining firms for indigenization.

Independent economist Eric Bloch said Kasukuwere’s attempts to clandestinely take over foreign-owned mining firms will drive away international investors.

Executives of Metallon Gold owned by Mzi Khumalo of South Africa, Vumbachigwe Mines of Canada and John Mack Gold Mine were not immediately available for comment though sources in the mining sector said some of them are currently planning to take the ministry to court.

The sources said they want to challenge the constitutionality of Zimbabwe’s Iindigenization and Economic Empowerment Act.