via Stop this madness – DailyNews Live 16 September 2014
HARARE – In yesterday’s edition, we reported on how $50 million worth of diamond cash — belonging to a consortium of Chiadzwa miners — was at risk of seizure after Amari Platinum Holdings Limited (Amari) had won a temporary order against President Robert Mugabe’s government.
At issue is how the Harare administration unilaterally chose to cancel the investment group’s proposed platinum venture with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) in 2010.
While the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) might have had vested interests and procedure in freezing the “auction windfall” another issue, the manner in which our government has been handling capital issues and specifically respect for property rights leaves a lot to be desired.
From the land reform debacle to African Consolidated Resources and the Zimbabwe Platinum Mines’ loss of its Marange gem fields, and 28 000-hectare platinum concession in Chegutu, respectively, these wanton actions have done nothing, but dampen investment inflows and at a time foreign direct investments have dwindled to a paltry $400 million.
But, does this barbarism surprise us given that trashing the rule of law is successive Mugabe governments’ speciality?
Yes, the very same government of Uncle Bob has been crying wolf about “sanctions” and yet it is escalating its attacks on the sanctity of bilateral agreements.
And the tragedy of it all is that even private entities in the name of Anjin, Diamond Mining Corporation and Mbada, just to name a few, are caught up in the mess of this bungling administration’s unending chaos.
In the meantime, private investors in joint ventures with the ZMDC have to meet their fixed costs in the form of salaries and other operational issues.
Yes, $50 million may look like a tiny sum of money, but it is the principle of how our government has been choosing to treat capital that leaves one wondering whether it is really serious about economic recovery.
As warned in the Monday headline that Zimbabwe risks losing millions more of the much-needed cash to bailiffs and other international players — since many of its debts have executable judgments — one also wonders what this ICA/Amari episode means about policy-making in this benighted economy.
While it will be quite easy for some Zanu PF charlatans to blame political novices like Walter Chidhakwa – who is incidentally Mugabe’s nephew and — for “trading key resources in hostile jurisdictions”, we say the whole government must shape up in its treatment of capital — else it can’t keep blaming external forces for our woes.
As it is, deposed white commercial farmers and other creditors are lying in wait, and that pariah tag will be with us for long!