Govt rejects Zimplats extension plea

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Zimbabwe has rejected a request by Zimplats, a subsidiary of Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd, to extend a deadline to hand over a 29,5% stake to government.

“You are advised that your request for a 30-day extension has been rejected by the honourable minister and your company is expected to comply with the law as stated in our February 22 letter to you,” Indigenisation secretary George Magosvongwe wrote a letter obtained by Bloomberg news agency yesterday, addressed to Zimplats chief executive officer Alex Mhembere and dated March 2.

Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere told Impala — the world’s second-biggest platinum producer — on February 22 it had 14 days to hand the stake to the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund or face “enforcement mechanisms”.

Two years ago, Zimbabwe published new rules demanding foreign companies transfer 51% of domestic operations to locals.

Senior government officials were yesterday set to meet to discuss the Zimplats issue.

Meanwhile, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Joseph Kanyekanye has been appointed chairperson of Renaissance Merchant Bank with immediate effect.

The development follows the removal of curatorship by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe this week after the re-organisation of the bank by the National Social Security Authority (NSSA).

Kanyekanye confirmed the development yesterday saying: “The appointment is with immediate effect. We will give further details in the next eight hours.”
NSSA recently acquired an 84% stake in the merchant bank.

Kanyekanye was part of a four-member team appointed by NSSA to work with former curator Reggie Saruchera, as it moved to resuscitate the bank.