Whinsley Masara Chronicle Reporter—
THE Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Cde Patrick Zhuwao has said the 51 percent shareholding for locals stipulated under the country’s indigenisation law was not enough and should be reviewed upwards. He said his ministry will come up with measures in due course to ensure that Zimbabweans fully benefit from their resources.
Zhuwao said this at Mvundla Primary School in Bubi district during the handover of classroom blocks that were built using Bubi Community Share Ownership Trust funds.
“51 percent doesn’t make sense. If a mining company invests $100 million in infrastructure on the ground the resource they want underground will be having a value much higher than the investment. Shareholding for non-indigenous entities must be calculated on the basis of the infrastructure put on the ground in relation to the value of the resource in the ground, but for the time being we’ll continue using the 51 percent but we want to go to 80-90 percent because that’s the true value of our resource,” said Zhuwao.
“I say this because mining companies remain stubborn and intransigent and refuse to recognise that they don’t own a resource. All they own are pieces of steel and infrastructure on the ground that are worth only a fraction of the resource that they extract and leave us only with holes.”
He said within the next week or two, his Ministry will come up with a policy position in line with President Mugabe’s pronouncements that the contribution by mining entities must reflect the value of the resource in the ground.
“Mines in this district have been robbing the locals of their wealth and this has to end. It happened in the past, before we, Zimbabweans became a little more calculative. As the Ministry we’ve realised the need to raise these percentages so that we benefit accordingly,” said Zhuwao.
The deputy president of the chiefs’ council, Chief Mtshana Khumalo, castigated mining companies for not contributing to the community share scheme.
“It’s sad to say only one mine is giving back to the community while there are so many companies taking away the wealth of the community as well as the country. I’m glad the Minister is on the ground today to witness where pupils of such a rich environment are getting their education. Please note that this applies to the few who can manage to walk the long distances in between the schools because these small children walk more than nine kilometres to school,” said the Chief.