Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mugabe bans export of raw platinum
By Felex Share
Tue 12 Nov. 2013, 14:01 CAT

THE Zimbabwean government through the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation will now take an active role in the mining of diamonds and ban all exports of raw platinum until companies in the sector build a refinery to ensure the country gets maximum returns from its resources, President Robert Mugabe has said.

Addressing the 94th Ordinary Session of the Zanu-PF Central Committee in Harare, President Mugabe said government was strengthening systems in the mining sector because it was one of the key sectors expected to fund the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset), the new economic blueprint drafted to turnaround the economy in the next five years.

"We already have big companies mining and we must be present in the operations," President Mugabe said.

"What is our ZMDC doing? It does not seem to be present in the management of the operations of these mines at all. It is folding its arms wanting to be given dividends at the end of the day. Whether it is Mbada, Anjin or the Lebanese, the three big mining companies, we are going to look into these systems," the President said.

Former mines and mining development minister Dr Obert Mpofu, President Mugabe said, gave platinum miners a two-year ultimatum to set up a refinery, but nothing has materialised "Let us close our doors immediately and say no raw platinum will go to South Africa," he said.

"The former minister gave them two years and we must see them now arranging to build a refinery. If they have not started, after that warning, building a refinery then when the time comes for us to demand that all refining has to be done here they should not blame us."

President Mugabe said all raw gold should now go through Fidelity, while illegal gold panners should be legalised as small to medium enterprises.
"Don't tell us we do not have money to steer Zim Asset," he said.

"We have gold everywhere and it is going to South Africa through makorokoza. Kune tuma groups, ndege dzinomhara musango and there are people ready to receive those boxes of raw gold. That must stop."

President Mugabe said the 51 per cent shareholding equity in companies meant that indigenous Zimbabweans should have a say in the day to day running of the firms.

"This is not what has been happening, we say 51 per cent and stay aloof," he said. "We want 51 per cent of active participation and not just of stretching hands. We mean 51 per cent of what we worked together. If you are not there in the operations they hide a huge chunk of proceeds from you and that, we do not want."

President Mugabe said the pledges Zanu-PF made during the elections should be fulfilled.

"Zim Asset must start unfolding and work must start," he said. "Travel less, meet less and more action. That is Zanu-PF, otherwise people will start asking you where are the pledges you said you would fulfil.

"What is happening in agriculture and industry? There is no change, the roads and railways are still the same. Where is your Zim Asset which you preached to us? The country is ours and we have the resources, but we have to turn them into work and it means action."

President Mugabe said it was the Zanu-PF election manifesto that saw people dumping the MDC-T.

"We presented real, solid and tangible promises to the people while our contestants, with the backing of their western masters, tried to sell a dummy to the electorate," he said.

"The people realised that Team Zanu-PF offered them a more realistic chance of improving their livelihoods. They were able to separate the genuine from the bogus. We, as servants, we must work to get people enriched."

Everyone, the President said, should shun corruption to ensure government achieves its goals.

He said Zimbabwe's problems will only be solved by Zimbabweans not whites, who still saw themselves as superior to black people.

President Mugabe said it was sad that the MDC thought the British and Americans would bring salvation in the country and hence together with their western masters claimed Zanu-PF rigged the harmonised elections.

"We do not look outside for the source of our own thinking, political ideology," he said. "If you give them a chance they come, as history has shown, and establish restrictions, rules and regulations that exclude indigenous people from even entering their forests calling it trespassing.

Those people are good, as Kwame Nkrumah said, when they are six feet down."

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