The Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines has appealed to Parliament to block the country’s accelerating indigenization or black empowerment program saying that to impose partners on private investors it violates fundamental principles of justice.
Parliamentary mines committee member Moses Mare said his committee met Tuesday to discuss the appeal. He noted that mining company executives fear that their firms are being nationalized under the guise of black economic empowerment.
Mare said that although the majority of mining firms submitted indigenization plans to the government by May 9 as required under law and regulations, they are unhappy that the state is demanding they surrender a 51 percent equity stake to locals.
Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere last week extended the deadline to June 2, two months before mining firms are supposed to start making over shares.
Mare said Parliament will soon deliberate on the appeal by the Chamber of Mines which hopes to blunt the thrust of the indigenization program. “We are convinced that Parliament will act accordingly to ensure that mines are not forcibly taken over by the ZANU-PF arm of the government of national unity,” Mare said.
Human rights lawyer Kucaca Phulu said progressive lawmakers are expected to defend Zimbabwe’s mining firms which are playing a key role in economic recovery.
“Most sections of the Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Regulations relating to mines violate the constitution of Zimbabwe and as such parliamentarians will have to protect these critical entities that are driving the economy,” Phulu said.