Zimbabwe Miners ‘Afraid of Saying No’ to Merger

Harare: Some diamond miners operating in Zimbabwe are said to be “afraid of saying no” to the proposed merger of their operations, according to a report published in Rough & Polished.

Zimbabwe recently announced plans to merge all six diamond mining operations in Marange as well as Rio Tinto’s Murowa and DTZ-OZGEO into one firm in which the State would have a 50 percent shareholding.

The new outfit would be known as the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC). “They couldn’t openly say that they are not happy with the move as they were afraid of losing their licences given that the minister threatened to do so if any mining company resist the merger,” a source, whose identity cannot be revealed in fear of reprisal, told Rough & Polished.

The source also noted that the proposed merger would “destroy” the country’s diamond industry and frighten investors who can “only save” the country from economic collapse.

“When the State is involved in business, the economy will not benefit much. The State should only collect revenue. The officials are creating an [impression] that all foreigners are hiding their profit, which is not correct,” said the source.

Reports suggest that Murowa had requested for further engagements with the mines ministry to seek clarity on the implementation of the plan.

Mines ministry secretary Francis Gudyanga was also quoted in the local media as saying that they would consider an outcome of evaluation of Murowa by an independent company and discussions with Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) as well as its contribution to exploration and capitalization of ZCDC.