Zimbabwe Parliament urged to keep eye on the ball following Zimplats deal


What we know is that in the previous mining lease, Zimplats had a 2.5 percent royalty stabilisation agreement with government which undermined the country tax code in which platinum royalties were pegged at 10 percent.

In 2015, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA)’s annual revenue performance report revealed that mineral royalty income was in the red at $19 421 653.62. A factor attributed to refunds of $101.55 million.

Although the report did not state Zimplats, the refund came after the miner had won a court dispute with the tax agency on legality of the 2.5 percent royalty stabilisation agreement with Ministry of Mines.

Section 315 (2) (c) of the 2013 Constitution require transparency and accountability in the negotiation and performance monitoring of mining contracts. It remains to be answered if Parliament was involved in this deal? A government that was established against the backdrop of restoring order should be at the forefront of respecting the Constitution.

Now that government is in possession of released ground, what happens next? The privately owned Zimbabwe Independent on Friday reported that Lucas Pouroulis, whose company, Karo Resources, last month signed a $4.2 billion platinum deal with government, has been given the land in the resource-rich Great Dyke.

The local shareholders in the deal also remain shrouded in secrecy despite Chitando’s pledge to release the details.

The African Mining Vision, to which Zimbabwe is a signatory, cautions that known mineral reserves should be disposed through public bidding to allow room for government to pick an investor who offers greater development outcomes like infrastructure, skills development, technology transfer and the development of local supply chains in addition to taxes.

The secrecy around the deals being announced currently leaves too much room for corruption. Lessons can be learnt from the acquisition of claims from Anglo American owned Unki Mine by government in 2008 as empowerment credits, which ended up in the hands of speculators.

Government got $100 million from CAMEC, which later resold the Bougai and Kironde claims for nearly $1 billion.

Much as Parliament is preoccupied with the issue of allegedly missing $15 billion diamond revenue from Marange, a lot is going on in the mining sector with mega deals being announced frequently. Parliament should keep its eye on the ball.

By Mukasiri Sibanda for The Source


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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