Govt to tighten mines control, fight corruption – Mugabe

Govt to tighten mines control, fight corruption – Mugabe

HARARE, April 18 (The Source) – President Robert Mugabe on Friday said his government will tighten control of mines to improve transparency and accelerate the crack down on officials implicated in corruption and fraud.

“We are trying to get all these sub-industries to be well organised to be much more transparent and to be much more under control of the government than they have been before,” Mugabe said at commemorations to mark the country’s independence from Britain in 1980.

Mugabe has been Zimbabwe’s sole ruler since the former Rhodesia gained independence.

Subsectors, including diamond, gold, iron, chrome and coal will all be reorganised, he said without giving details.

On the indigenisation law which requires foreign owned firms to cede 51 percent to local blacks, Mugabe said this would only be enforced where local resources are used.

“We have said where companies have been established, mainly on the basis of our natural resources, mining, agriculture, manufacturing…… we demand that Zimbabwe either through the government or through our people should have 51 percent and not less than 51 percent,” he said.

Mugabe took a swipe at Chinese businesses that brought their own labour force into the country instead of employing locals.

“Let the skills be from our indigenous areas. Chinese want to bring their whole families to work in companies, we don’t want that even if they are our friends,” he said.

Tackling corruption

Mugabe said he will crack down on officials implicated in corrupt activities after recent cases involving public officials and state-owned companies.

Air Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and Marange Diamonds are some of the state enterprises that are currently under probe for various malfeasances.

“We are cleaning up the corrupt ones, we want a clean government. I can assure you we will not leave corruption where we discover it unpunished,” he said.

Zimbabwe is ranked 157 out of 177 among the most corrupt countries in the world by the Transparency International 2013 index, six places worse off than the previous year.

Government recently capped salaries and allowances for public sector executives to a maximum of $6,000 per month after a public row erupted over executive pay at some parastatals.

“Don’t take that which is not your own, don’t steal. Don’t allocate yourself that which you do not deserve if you are in a position of management, control. If you are in a position of responsibility, don’t give yourself salaries which are higher than what the regulations stipulate.”

He said as president, he had to accept a “humiliating” salary of $100 per month when the country dollarised in 2009 under the unity government between his ZANU-PF party and the Movement of Democratic Change.

“We did not allocate ourselves money because we are leaders,” he said.