Indigenisation: Diamond Firm Gives Up 51% Stake To Zimbabweans

Murowa Diamonds has agreed to surrender 51 percent stake in line with the Zimbabwean Government’s Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment regulations.

This comes as delegates to the inaugural Zanu-PF Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Conference in Vumba yesterday resolved that government needed to be more resolute in pushing for economic emancipation through ownership of the country’s mineral resources.

Zanu-PF secretary for Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Saviour Kasukuwere, confirmed that Murowa Diamonds complied with the empowerment regulations on Thursday.

“Murowa Diamonds wrote to us yesterday saying they have given up 51 percent shares and these would be given to our people,” said Kasukuwere, who is also the Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment.

Kasukuwere said the implementation of the empowerment regulations had moved a gear up with indications that President Mugabe would be launching the Ngezi Community Share Ownership Trust worth over US$100 million at Selous, Mashonaland West Province, next week.

“On Thursday, His Excellency the President will launch our programme at Selous. A 10 percent stake worth over US$130 million will now be in the hands of our communities. By December we will have more than 100 Community Trusts,” he said.

Kasukuwere said the setting up of the Community Share Ownership Scheme for the Ngezi Community was agreed with Zimplats.

“Other substantive proposals are still being assessed and there are indications that some of them will be approved with necessary adjustments,” he said.

Kasukuwere, however, said there was still some resistance to the empowerment regulations.

“The general trend of submitted plans shows a level of resistance in moving away from the proposal by the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe,” he said.

“The mining businesses are offering to dispose 26-30 percent as equity on commercial value. The balance is to be claimed as empowerment credits for corporate social responsibility programmes. It appears this approach has been agreed to and co-ordinated under the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe,” he added.

Kasukuwere said some mining firms were still proposing to dispose of equity to indigenous Zimbabweans in their individual capacities or as a consortium rather than to designated entities as prescribed by the law.

“My overall assessment is that over 90 percent of the submitted proposals do not meet the minimum requirements of the General Notice 114 of 2011 and there seems to be an element of resistance.

“However, I am meeting the various mining houses to achieve agreement on compliance with the law,” he said.

Kasukuwere said since the promulgation of the empowerment regulations, more than 1 000 businesses have submitted their provisional implementation plans as required by the law.

But while some mining firms are still reluctant to abide by the law, Zanu-PF delegates here are definite that there is no going back on the empowerment regulations as it was in line with the party’s 2010 Mutare National People’s Conference resolutions.

“The Zanu-PF Presidium is totally committed to supporting this important initiative led by Cde Kasukuwere. Cde Kasukuwere we are fully behind you and some of us will leave no stone unturned to achieve our goal,” said Zanu PF national chairman Cde Simon Khaya-Moyo in his address.

He added: “The indigenisation and economic empowerment programme is a flagship policy of the party that should be implemented without fear or favour. We ask for permission from no-one. We must proceed with that zeal and commitment, which made us succeed in liberating our country.”

Murowa mine yielded 139,000 carats of rough diamonds for all of 2010, compared to 97,000 carats in 2009. However, production dropped 29% in the last quarter of 2010 from the corresponding period in 2009.

No specific reason was given for the Q4 slump, although Rio Tinto said that continued power outages affected operations at Murowa.

The open-pit Murowa mine, completed in 2004, is one of three operating diamond mines in Zimbabwe, the other two being the Chiadzwa mine in Manicaland and the River Ranch Mine in southern Zimbabwe.