On April 16, 2021, the Government Gazette notified that the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, with the authorisation of the President, in terms of section 301 of the Mines and Minerals Act (Chapter 21:05), issued Special Grant No. 8577 to Afrochine Smelting (Private) Limited, for a period of three years with effect from 16th April, to 15th April 2024, inclusive.
This authorisation gave our company, Afrochine Smelting (Pvt) Ltd, permission to explore coal in the specified area, in Hwange, Matabeleland North Province, with a view to undertaking mining activities in line with our investment plans.
Ours is just a small effort towards achieving the country’s economic growth and attainment of an Upper Middle-Income Economy status espoused by the Government, with the mining sector expected to contribute US$12 billion.
We are doing this in terms of the law, including those governing the environment. We are appalled, therefore, that there are fresh attempts by certain forces under the civil society banner to derail these efforts through vexatious litigation or threats of litigation; bullying, harassment, and politicking against our investments.
The ongoing war against companies operating in the mining and energy sectors in Hwange has become more than a mere distraction but a national security threat, driven by selfish individuals and groupings whose operations have become a well-oiled machine to thwart development in the area and derail the legitimate national economic activities.
These groupings are known to receive funding from certain external sources and it is a pity that while individuals and a clique of activists line their pockets with dirty money, communities around Hwange continue to wallow in poverty. It has not also escaped attention that most of the attacks enumerated above are directed at Chinese enterprises operating here, which indicates that the attrition has a geopolitical dimension as it targets both Zimbabwe and its largest external ally, China.
We, therefore, call upon authorities to protect the legitimate interests of investors and provide an enabling environment where capital can thrive, in line with Zimbabwe is Open for Business principle.