Business

Windfall for victims of policy

Prof Ncube

Ishemunyoro Chingwere
Business Reporter
Government has identified five special interest groups, among them those that suffered losses as a result of the country’s currency reform strategy, plus the rest of society as beneficiaries of its stake in the newly established mining giant, Kuvimba Mining House.

Kuvimba Mining House is a joint venture between Government and a consortium of international investors and Government is the majority shareholder with a 65 percent stake.

Its impressive assets include the recently reopened Shamva Gold Mine, Freda Rebecca Gold Mine, Jena Mine, a stake in the Darwendale Platinum project trading under Great Dyke Investments, Bindura Nickel Corporation, Zimbabwe Alloys Limited among others.

Government has moved to identify groups, which it wants to benefit from its stake and these include the depositors protection fund, trustees for the sovereign wealth fund, national venture fund, farmers deed of settlement , pension fund and the rest of society.

Under the depositors’ protection fund, Government will seek to compensate depositors who lost value on investment due to currency reforms undertaken by monetary authorities as it reintroduced the Zimbabwe Dollar.

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Under the farmers’ deed of settlement, Government is targeting to pay up to US$3,5 billion to about 4 000 former white commercial farmers for improvements on the land they had done before the state repossessed land for redistribution under the land reform programme.

Speaking on Friday at the official opening of Shamva Gold Mine in Shamva, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, said the decision to target these groups shows that Government prioritises the rule of law as well as the welfare of vulnerable groups.

“The shareholding and dividends held by Government in Kuvimba will benefit the following groups: the youths, women and the war veterans, depositors and pensioners — who suffered losses during the currency reforms of 2019,” said Prof Mthuli Ncube.

“The Government pension fund is also a beneficiary, the sovereign wealth fund is also a beneficiary, and the farmers’ deed of settlement is also a beneficiary.

“This shows that Government is serious about supporting the vulnerable, it is serious about equity, Government is serious about inter-generational equity, which is what a sovereign wealthy fund is all about,” he said.

He also added that unlike other tate entities who are notorious for milking state coffers, Kuvimba will instead declare a dividend.

The mining concern has already indicated that it will, in the short term invest an initial US$ 1 billion in the remodelling of dormant mining operations as well as expanding those already operating.

“The difference between Kuvimba Mining House and some State-owned entities is that it (Kuvimba) does not require further capital injection nor does it require exercises such as debt assumption among other rescue strategies and packages.

“On the contrary, Kuvimba will pay dividends to Government and various groups,” said Professor Ncube.

Mining is one of the key cornerstones with which Government hopes to revive and grow the economy towards upper middle income status by 2030.

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As a precursor to the 2030 targets, the sector is chasing a 2023 milestone whereupon it is expected to grow its annual export earnings to US$12 billion up from US$2,7 billion in 2017.

HERALD