With Zimbabwe’s indigenization drive picking up momentum, members of the National Indigenization Board this week visited foreign-owned mines in the Matabeleland region amid indications from Harare that some 50 mines could lose their operating licences for failing to comply to with the black economic empowerment program.
Sources said Indigenization Board Chairman David Chapfika, accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Indigenization, met Wednesday with mine managers at Jessie Mine, Blanket Mine, Vumbachikwe Mine and Portland Cement Mine in Gwanda, Matabeleland South. The companies were ordered to comply with the law or face closure.
The sources said members of the public were not invited to the meetings, leaving locals angry at being sidelined and concerned that indigenization is set up to benefit only top officials of the former ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe.
Chapfika and his group on Thursday visited Turk Mine, 85 kilometres north of Bulawayo.
Chapfika told VOA reporter Jonga Kandemiiri the indigenization board is consulting mines and communities on the requirements of the black economic empowerment program.
Gwanda resident Vumani Muthiyani, who attended indigenization meetings in the mining town, said some companies indicated that they will sell a 6 percent stake to workers.
Matabeleland Natural Resources Forum member Buletsi Nyathi said his group will resist any attempts by ZANU-PF to grab mines in the region to enrich party members.
Political analyst Charles Mutasa said ZANU-PF should have waited for the new constitution to be in place to push the black empowerment agenda.