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c.bank chief warns govt on mining laws - report
- Zimbabwe's central bank chief has warned President Robert Mugabe's
government against draft mining laws that he said could hurt the
country's economy, according to the state-owned Sunday Mail newspaper.
of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono was quoted saying draft amendments
which could allow the state to take a majority share in foreign-owned
mines should respect private property rights, adding the proposed
laws were a "hot issue" at a recent International Monetary Fund
(IMF) board meeting.
The Mines Ministry
has said cabinet approved amendments to the mining law "to indigenise
51 percent in some instances of all foreign owned companies", raising
concerns on future foreign investment in a country facing foreign
took much of our time as we had to explain to the IMF executive
board government's policy on the matter. It was a hot issue," Gono
"For the ...
sustainable integration of Zimbabwe into the competitive global
space for investment attraction, this process has to be done in
accordance with strict observance and respect for private property
rights, as well as through market-friendly principles of fair value
exchanges," he told the newspaper.
the country's investment landscape will forever be damaged, much
to the detriment of the country's turnaround programme and its ideals."
The Mines Ministry's
statement to the Chamber of Mines said the amended law would give
the government 51 percent in "energy minerals mining companies",
including 25 percent on a "non contributory basis," upon promulgation.
say a non-contributory basis means the government would acquire
shares without paying for them.
Gono said the
government should distinguish between existing and future investments
when pursuing its empowerment programme and that government and
local investors should have sufficient financial resources to partner
existing and future investors.
Gono has previously
criticised government policies such as the seizures of white-owned
farms to give to landless blacks, a policy which critics say has
gutted the key agricultural sector and pushed the country into economic
say Gono has not enjoyed whole-hearted backing he was promised by
Mugabe when he took up his post in 2003 with a mandate to pull Zimbabwe
out of its economic slide.
The new draft
mining law has sent tremors through the industry, one of the few
in Zimbabwe that still has significant foreign involvement.
largest second platinum producer Implats and Murowa diamond mine,
78 percent controlled by Rio Tinto Plc, have expressed concern on
the draft law.
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