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Zimbabwe Indigenization Minister Threatens to Nationalize 30 Mining Firms

Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere told a parliamentary committee this week that he is giving 30 mining companies which have not filed plans for indigenization two weeks to comply with the law

Zimbabwean Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has threatened to nationalize 30 foreign-owned mines that have not complied with the Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act requiring a majority stake be held by a black Zimbabwean.

Kasukuwere told a parliamentary development committee this week that he is giving the 30 private mining companies two weeks to comply with the law.

He said 200 mining companies have submitted indigenization plans but that only 54 of those proposals met the requirements as spelled out in regulations.

Kasukuwere said he will nationalize mining companies that resist indigenization despite opposition to the program in its present form from both formations of the Movement for Democratic Change which governs in partnership with Kasukuwere's ZANU-PF.

Deputy Mines Minister Gift Chimanikire of the MDC formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said the indigenization law has no provision for nationalization.

Development worker Liberty Bhebhe said grabbing of foreign-owned mines is part of the election strategy of ZANU-PF, headed by President Robert Mugabe.

"This will be disastrous taking into account the Zimbabwe economy is recovering fast," Bhebhe declared.