Minister appeals for mining sector prioritisation in foreign payments

Former Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa

HARARE – Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa on Thursday appealed to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to prioritise crucial external payments for the mining sector.

Zimbabwe, which is using the United States dollar as its chief transaction currency, is battling cash shortages that have been triggered by high imports and externalisation.

Speaking at the Mining and Agriculture Interface meeting held on the sidelines of the 2017 Harare Agricultural show, Chidhakwa accused some unnamed financial institutions of abusing the foreign currency payments facility.

“When we generate forex the intention is that the foreign currency is properly directed to productive activities. But if it’s being abused, we  also get unhappy about it and all we can say is we urge the Minister of  Finance to ensure that the huge contribution that is coming from the mining  sector in so far as foreign exchange is concerned, should be properly  directed to activities of a productive nature so that the economy  grows,” he said.

Chidhakwa urged the Minister of Finance to reign in financial institutions abusing foreign currency.

Mining accounts for more than half of Zimbabwe’s export earnings.

Statistics show that the mining industry generated at least $12, 5 billion in export earnings between 2009 and 2015. – New Ziana