Sugar, Mine Companies Risk Govt Take Over

The Ministry has allegedly resolved to move into big foreign owned firms including giant Sugar producers Tongaat Hullet who owns Triangle and Hippo Valley Sugar estates, the country’s sole Lithium producers, Bikita Minerals mine, Gold producing Renco mine and Wildlife conservancy Malilangwe Trust.

Presenting his progress report before a Zanu (PF) dominated Masvingo Provincial Development Committee at the Civic Centre, Chairperson of Industry, Commerce, Mining and Tourism subcommittee; Munyaradzi Rubaya said time was up for foreign firms in the province.

“We are targeting four firms for now to cede their shares under the Community Share Ownership Trust, namely Bikita Minerals, Renco Mine, Tongaat Hullet and Malilangwe Trust in the low-veld to the tune of $30 million.The funding will come from those organisations,” said Rubaya.

Although he could not give the actual dates government intended to move into the firms, Rubaya said their first target was Bikita minerals which he said was one of the biggest Lithium producing mines in Africa and the whole world.

“Very soon we will launch the Bikita Minerals community share ownership trust before moving to the other enlisted organizations,” he said.

The controversial indigenisation laws that have since been criticised by fellow partners in the shaky inclusive government, the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations, have been accused of causing foreign investors to lose confidence in the country.

The move by government comes in the wake of unsuccessful efforts by a Zanu (PF) youth group, Masvingo Youth in Business to grab foreign and white owned companies under the same controversial laws. About five of the youth group leaders are still in the courts after they attempted to grab white owned buildings in Chiredzi.

Rubaya however said the Ministry of Youth would be announcing the dates and deadlines for the firms in Masvingo province to compel with their demands.

The Provincial Development feels that Masvingo was lagging behind in implementing the Indigenisation law as other provinces have since forced firms to surrender 51% shares.

The announcement also comes barely a week after Kasukuwere threatened foreign companies with arrest if the fail to compel with the indigenisation policy in Matabeleland.