Opposition legislator Tendai Biti has called on the Minister of Mines Winston Chitando to come to Parliament to explain how mining leases are being granted because they are being distributed like cakes at a wedding to people that do not have money.
He raised this as a point of national interest citing the examples of Russian Company GDI which was granted a platinum mining lease and Manhize which is mining iron.
Great Dyke Investments was a joint venture between Kuvimba Mining and Russia’s VI Holdings which was supposed to invest US$3 billion in a platinum mining venture but the Russian company pulled out in July.
Manhize is supposed to be a billion dollar investment by Chinese company Dinson Iron and Steel Company. Construction of what is expected to be one of the largest steel plants in Africa was officially launched by President Emmerson Mnangagwa this month.
Biti, however, says Zimbabwe is mortgaging its resources and getting nothing.
HON. BITI: Thank you Madam Speaker. I rise on a point of national interest which pertains to the issue of special mining leases which are provided for under the Mines and Minerals Act, Chapter 21:03. These special mining leases in terms of Section 139 say these are huge investments that require a lot of money, say a minimum of US$100 million but you find that these special mining leases are now being granted to people that do not have money. They are now being distributed like cakes at a wedding. I am talking of the platinum leases like the one given to the Russian company, DGI which has stopped operating at the moment.
These special mining leases are now too numerous. Another example is that of Manhize in Chivi where there is mining of iron ore. Manhize was giving iron ore resources of 43 billion metric tonnes but no money has come to Zimbabwe. It hurts because we are mortgaging our country with these special leases and at the end of the day, Zimbabwe receives nothing. I request the Minister of Mines to come and give a statement on special mining leases that he has given from 2018 to date; how much money he has raised from them; what was the criteria used in awarding licences; what investments have been done by such mines and why he did not come before Parliament for us to be in a position to grant those mining leases because Zimbabwe is now being impoverished. I want Hon. Chitando to come and give us a report. Zimbabwe belongs to its own people and we should not sell it. Thank you.