Blanket Mine-First Indegenisation Casuality

The government last week cancelled the operating license of the Mine for allegedly failure to come up with an acceptable indigenisation proposal.

In a statement the owners of the mine, Caledonia which is Canada based  said the company is in possession of a copy  of a letter written by Saviour Kasukuwere, the minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment  to the minister of Mines and Mining Development minister, Obert Mpofu ordering the latter to cancel the operating license of the mine.

“Caledonia has received a copy of a letter sent from the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment to the Minister of mines and Mining Development, in which he requests that the minister of mines cancels Blanket’s operating license on the grounds that Caledonia’s proposal does not meet the legislated indigenisation requirements,” said the company in the statement which is in Radio VOP’s possession.

The company said it submitted a comprehensive indigenisation proposal to Kasukuwere on May 9, 2011 but it has not received any response from the minister.

“ Since then , neither Blanket nor Caledonia have received any formal notification that the proposal is deficient or that it should be revised within any specified timescale,” said the company.

The company which is still operating normally said it is seeking urgent clarification from the relevant ministers and is also consulting with its legal advisers regarding appropriate legal action. Kusukuwere has also clashed with the Reserve Bank governor, Gideon Gono over his threats to take over Standard Chartered Bank and Barclays Bank under the widely discredited indigenisation programme.

Addressing the 7th congress of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) in Bulawayo on Friday, Prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai also took a swipe at the indigenisation laws which he said will scare away potential investors.

“How do you expect banks and investors to pour money into this economy when your are threatening businesses with an ii-timed and ill-thought indigenisation law? How do you convince investors to put money in your country and create employment when there is no policy consistency and policy predictability? When one half of the government is arresting and brutalising the other?” asked the PM.

Under the indigenisation programme, foreign –owned companies are compelled to ensure that 51 percent of their shares are in the hands of the locals.