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Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa now wants to seize mining claims owned by conglomerates

Steven Mahwai

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s economy could be plunged back deeper into the muck, following President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s threats to seize mining claims owned by large corporates for speculative purposes, which he intends to dole to unemployed youths.

Addressing delegates at the inaugural youth indaba organised by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Mnangagwa said many of the companies that had secured claims were not exploiting them.

“They have just registered the claims. You rarely can find free untagged or areas where there are no claims, so to create opportunities for young generations coming into the market, we have introduced a policy of use it or lose it. If there is a claim you do not use, you lose it to the state,” said President Mnangagwa, adding it did not matter if those companies were paying fees to keep the claims.

“Just Thursday in cabinet, we realised that we have adequate pieces of legislation already in our statute book. We have big mining companies who own vast land, whether you are paying fees to keep the claims, we are saying no,” he said, indicating Government would assist young people who wanted to venture into mining.

“Use it or lose it, so now we are doing this because we have discovered the need of many young people who have come together, who want to be assisted to do some mining projects and then they fail to secure claims because they have been secured 50, 60 or 100 years ago by mining conglomerates.

“We have a financial window in the Ministry of Mines supported by the People’s Republic of China where they have acquired equipment to support groups who register. We do not want people who go around mining without mining methods being used.”

Usually, when Zanu (PF) leaders claim to empower locals, they dole out state resources to party hopefuls with neither capacity nor equipment to boost productivity.

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