ZIMBABWE Army Feasts On National Resources

ZIMBABWE Army Feasts On National Resources
Published: 2016 May 20 13:50:05 (1997 Views)
..As Masses Languish In Poverty
 ZIMBABWEANS are watching helplessly while the country's military plunders natural resources while the economy bleeds.

 Last week Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa announced  that the military will be partnering a South African mining company in a chrome smelting project in Kwekwe.

According to Chidhakwa, the Ministry of Defence entered into a joint venture with Africa Chrome Fields (ACF), a subsidiary of South African mining company Fanshawe Mining Holdings for an exothermic chrome smelting project.

But masses are skeptical that the exploitation of these resources will feed into Treasury.

“I am happy with the joint venture between ACF and Ministry of Defence,” Chidhakwa said during the tour of 10 chrome smelting plants which was also attended by Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi.

“Sekeramayi is here representing the establishment. I know you are used to protecting the country, but now you will be protecting the resources,” he said.

Mnangagwa said the plant would produce ultra-low carbon ferrochrome in 45 seconds. He said the plant would produce 20 000 tonnes of ultra-low carbon ferrochrome a month. Other touted benefits would be the fact the new technology which does not require electricity will be used while 3 000 jobs will be created. This sounds well and good, but then again it is not the first time Zimbabweans have been promised heaven on earth after the military ventured into mining and other business ventures.

Just last week, the Zimbabwe Independent reported that Chinese diamond mining company Anjin Investments, in which the military has an interest, exported under shady circumstances more than three million carats of diamonds from Chiadzwa to China’s financial hub, Shanghai.

The reports vindicated former Finance minister Tendai Biti who spent the better part of his tenure from 2009-2013 bemoaning the veil of secrecy in Anjin’s operations and its failure to make meaningful remittances to Treasury.

Given this background, this latest military foray into mining and related business ventures poses more questions than answers as was the case with other army projects like the platinum mining project in Darwendale, Mashonaland West and the methane gas exploitation project in Lupane, Matabeleland North.

The sad reality is that it is unlikely that the latest venture will be any different. As analysts point out, such business ventures should be left to the relevant ministries and institutions for the country to stand any chances of realising any benefits.



- Zimbabwe Independent
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