Thursday, March 11, 2010

(TALKZIMBABWE) Investor interest rises despite indigenisation

Investor interest rises despite indigenisation
By: Floyd Nkomo
Posted: Sunday, March 7, 2010 8:02 pm

ZIMBABWE has received overwhelming inquiries from foreign investors despite the gazetting of an indigenisation regulations last month requiring that all foreign-owned companies should cede 51 per cent to indigenous Zimbabweans, a Cabinet minister recently said.

Speaking at the Bulawayo Press club recently, Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu said Zimbabwe is one of the few countries in the world entitled to brag about its wide range of minerals.

The country boasts an array of untapped mineral deposits which, if properly exploited, can contribute immensely to the Gross Domestic Product and the revival of the economy, the minister said.

The Minister of Youth, Empowerment and Indigenisation, Saviour Kasukuwere recently published the regulations as required under the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act.

Commentators argued that the Act will deter foreign investors from investing in Zimbabwe.

Minister Mpofu argued that the Act will not deter investors, adding that his ministry had received overwhelming inquiries from potential investors intending to explore and exploit numerous mineral claims in the country.

He further hinted that Government would ensure that all mineral deposits were expeditiously harnessed for the benefit of the country.

“We have a total of over 60 minerals in the country and (I) am sure that if these are properly exploited they can help spearhead Government’s economic revival programme.

"Even our detractors are aware of this and all this noise is because these people were benefiting from these minerals without us knowing,” Minister Mpofu said.

He noted that De Beers had spent over 15 years in the area shipping “samples” to South Africa on the pretext of analysing them, yet it does not take more than a month to determine whether there are diamonds in an area.

“When we questioned this they quickly withdrew from the area and this suggests that we had lost a lot of money over that period,” he said.

He added: “As I speak, the President cleared 10 specific grants for implementation and these are massive investments which are coming.”

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