Zimbabwean Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere says Harare has rejected equity quotas of up to 26 percent plus empowerment credits proposed by foreign-owned mining companies responding to a call for plans to increase stakes held by local investors.
Kasukuwere told the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation that proposals received from mining firms are unacceptable and Harare if not satisfied will seize such assets.
He said Harare will not even discuss the proposal by mining firms to make up the other 25 percent demanded by the government in so-called empowerment credits taking the form of school and clinic construction and other community projects.
Mining indigenization regulations say that foreign-owned mines should detail plans to put a 51 percent stake in the hands of indigenous investors or government entities.
Kasukuwere’s announcement has caused panic among mining executives. Sources said a crisis meeting was called in Harare. Mining executives declined to comment.
Parliamentary Legal Committee Chairman Shepherd Mushonga said lawmakers will not allow the ZANU-PF side of the unity government to start grabbing mining companies.
Economic commentator Masimba Kuchera said Kasukuwere’s threats are an attempt to secure wrestle higher equity participation offers from mining firms“because I don’t think that the inclusive government can allow [mine seizures] to happen.”