Zimbabwe President has reserved for war veterans, 20% of mining claims in the chrome, nickel and steel sectors in what analysts see as an act of appeasement.
Addressing a post-Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Zimbabwe Information Minister Mrs. Monica Mutsvagwa said the decision to give mining claims to the veterans of the 1970s liberation war was reached after Mines minister Winston Chitando had proposed that claims ceded by ZimAlloys be re-allocated.
“These claims will be re-allocated to other companies which will receive mining claims to sustain and expand ferrochrome production,” Mutsvangwa said.
“As per government policy, 20% of the ceded claims, being 2 348 hectares of the total ceded claims, which are a total of 11 747 hectares, will be allocated to war veterans. The modus operandi of the distribution of claims to war veterans will be announced in due course.”
Speaking at the same briefing, Chitando confirmed the development, adding that the government was working on the modalities and also working on a chrome development policy.
“In line with the US$12 billion milestone by 2023 in the mining sector, the steel and chrome sector is targeting to achieve one million tonnes of ore from the 360 000 tonnes we had in 2018.
“In the rollout of the programme, we are looking at synergies between ferrochrome producers and individuals. The government is also working on a chrome development policy that will outline the modalities,” Chitando said.
War veterans have been Zanu PF’s main campaign cogs during elections, propping up the ruling party during the reign of the late former President Robert Mugabe.
Since Mnangagwa came to power on the back of a November 2017 coup, the war veterans have made several demands, claiming their welfare has been neglected.