$7m required to revive SMM
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
At least $7million is required to resuscitate Shabani Mashava Mines, Parliament heard last week.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa told the National Assembly on Wednesday that the money was required to refurbish broken down equipment.
Minister Chidhakwa was responding to questions from backbenchers during the question and answer session.
Zvishavane-Ngezi MP Cde John Holder (Zanu-PF) had asked why Government was not utilising gold and chrome claims found at SMM in Zvishavane, than just relying on investors. Southerton MP Mr Gift Chimanikire (MDC-T) asked if it was not prudent to privatise Kamativi and Elvington than to acquire them as what happened with the SMM. He asked if Government was not considering handing over SMM equipment to its former owner Mr Mutumwa Mawere.
In response, Minister Chidhakwa said working capital was the major stumbling block.
“The issue is capitalisation. Do the companies have the equipment? A lot of the equipment are actually broken down and what we are doing now on both the earth- moving equipment and the plant is to actually refurbish the plant particularly when you talk about Shabani-Mashava, you have to refurbish the plant at an estimated cost of about $7 million and then you will have to bring in earth- moving vehicles. They do not have operating earthmoving vehicles,” said Minister Chidhakwa.
“So, that is where the problem is and that is what we are working on now. This is why I kept referring you to the fact that we now have a facility that is going to buy equipment for the purposes of resuscitating the said Government companies.” Minister Chidhakwa said it was not Government policy to privatise mining firms.
“Government policy as of now is to look for strategic partners who will work with us as partners in the joint ventures. The reason behind it being that, I know that it is a difficult proposition — if we operate them well, Government will be able to get a dividend. Government gets a dividend, and a lot of these companies have done so before — Hwange Colliery and all these companies were making money and they were declaring dividends to Government,” said Minister Chidhakwa.
We believe that we can bring them to that status and be able to operate them on that basis,” said Minister Chidhakwa.