Saturday, May 29, 2010

(NEWZIMBABWE) Mugabe rules out mine seizures

Mugabe rules out mine seizures
by Reuters
28/05/2010 00:00:00

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe said on Friday the government would not expropriate mines and was refining a controversial empowerment laws to enable miners to expand their operations.

"Government has no intention of expropriating the mining industry. No mine has been nationalised since independence," Mugabe told an annual mining conference in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

The government early this year published regulations requiring foreign-owned firms, including mines and banks, to cede 51 percent shares to locals, a move which divided the coalition administration and spooked investors.

"The implementation of the empowerment initiative will take cognisance of the need to promote growth of the mining industry," Mugabe said.

"Accordingly, mechanisms are being refined to ensure that investors find it attractive to expand current operations and bring in new investment into the country."

The regulations took effect on March 1 and require foreign-owned companies to submit plans to show how they will sell 51 percent of their shares to black Zimbabweans within five years.

But the power-sharing government formed by Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai last year is deeply divided over the regulations, which Tsvangirai has said frighten investors.

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