The government has given diamond mining companies in Zimbabwe just weeks to submit their audited financial statements before they merge into one mining company-the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company.
According to The Herald, Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa gave the companies two choices- join or ship out.
Chidhakwa said an extraordinary general meeting will be held within the first two weeks of August.
“I have made a strong plea to the companies, resistances here and there, uncertainty here and there. But I want to communicate that we are not stopping. Where we are now is that as 50 percent shareholders through ZMDC we have a right to call for an extra ordinary general meeting. We have called for EGMs and we have invited our partners to the EGM,” Chidhakwa said.
“We want them to take a position and tell us whether as companies they will go ahead. That is the commercial route. The companies will go in and vote and come up with a position. These are commercial mechanisms. If any company decides not to sign up for the consolidation, government will use the legal route. But commercial decisions by companies do not have the effect of changing government policy. Our position is that government has enunciated a policy and that policy is that we will have one diamond mining company in this country. And therefore if a decision by the commercial entity is that they will not participate in this one entity, then I think it will be time to bid each other farewell. We are very clear about this; we are taking not one step backwards.”
The government already owns 50 percent in Diamond Mining Company, Anjin, Jinan, Mbada Diamonds and Gye Nyame Resources through the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation all operating in Marange. It also wholly owns Marange Resources.
The only diamond mining company outside this net is Murowa in Zvishavane which was owned by Rio Tinto. The global mining company sold its 78 percent stake in the mine to RZ Murowa Holdings in June.
Workers of the various companies are opposing the merger because they are owed millions in unpaid wages by the companies.