Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Saviour Kasukuwere yesterday said he has written to Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu advising him to take over Vumbachikwe Gold Mine after it allegedly failed to comply with the indigenisation law.
Speaking at a Press conference after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) and Zimdiv Holdings Limited in Bulawayo, Kasukuwere said he had requested that the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation take over the mine.
“There are some who believe they can be arrogant and if they don’t want to work with us, their operations will have to stop,” he said.
“Let me take this time and comment about Vumbachikwe whose leaders think we are still in Rhodesia. We have written to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to take over and send ZMDC to run the mine.
“They can go to court, heaven or hell but that mine now belongs to us.”
Kasukuwere added that big mining companies like Zimplats had complied with the country’s indigenisation laws and asked: “So who is Vumbachikwe?
“Everyone who does not comply will be forced to shut down. We cannot entertain such arrogance,” he said.
“We will make sure that government machinery moves swiftly and make sure that within a short period we would have taken over.”
Earlier, Matabeleland North governor Thokozile Mathuthu had warned mine owners in the province to comply with the indigenisation laws. Her Matabeleland South counterpart Angeline Masuku also weighed in saying, “those who think they can carry on exploiting our resources in Matabeleland South, we have said ‘No’.”
“Those people who have been looting should take a leaf from Zimdiv. Zimbabwe values its sovereignty,” she said.
“If you are not willing to comply, do not be interested in Zimbabwean resources. Leave us.”
The issue of the mine’s failure to comply with the indigenisation laws was first raised by Masuku at the launch of the Gwanda Community Share Ownership Trust Scheme in Gwanda last month.
President Robert Mugabe, reacting to the reports, called on mining companies to comply with government terms or they would find themselves operating outside Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, the MoU will see subsidiaries of Zimdiv Holdings prospecting for rare minerals in Matabeleland North and South provinces.
The proposed joint venture will also see NIEEB, through the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund (NIEEF), acquire 51% of the ordinary shares in each of the Zimbabwean registered companies and the balance of 49% will be held by ZimDiv Holdings Limited.