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Mugabe takes swipe at EU

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PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday hailed the increased economic ties between Harare and Moscow and fired a broadside on the European Union for imposing sanctions against the two countries in contravention of standing United Nations resolutions.

EVERSON MUSHAVA/NUNURAI JENA

Commissioning a $1 billion Zimbabwe-Russia joint venture platinum mining project in Darwendale, Mugabe described EU member countries that recently imposed sanctions on Russia as “evil men of our world” who act in defiance of international law.

“Those who imposed sanctions on him [Russian President Vladimir Putin] have done so on us as well. These are the evil men of our world, those who go and act in defiance of international law, imposing sanctions never approved by the United Nations,” Mugabe said.

The project is a joint venture between Russian firms VB Bank, Rustec and the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and is set to generate over 8 000 jobs by 2024 and increase Zimbabwe’s annual platinum output to over one million ounces.

The mine has a projected lifespan of 20 years with potential to extend to 34 years after further exploration.

Mugabe said the new economic partnerships between Zimbabwe and Russia was an extension of the countries’ historic ties dating back to the era of the liberation struggle and pledged to forge
more partnerships with Russia and Zimbabwe’s all-weather friend, China.

Russia and China had been playing a pivotal role in vetoing the Western powers’ decision to slap Mugabe with sanctions over the land reform programme.

Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa warned mining companies against holding on to mining claims for speculative purposes.

Speaking at the same event, Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov described Mugabe as “a historic figure, an African legend”.

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