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Mugabe insists there will be no backing down on indigenisation

President Robert Mugabe yesterday said there would be no compromise on the 51-percent local ownership of companies involved in the country’s natural resources. There would, however, be a compromise if the resources were brought from outside. Speaking in South Africa, where he was on a state visit, Mugabe said: “What we say, therefore, is we who’re owners of natural resources must at least have 51 percent of the earnings of that company and we allow that company 49 percent where it’s a natural resource. If the resources are brought from outside; you bring your gadgets, you want to manufacture gadgets which we didn’t have before, well that isn’t covered in our 51-49 percent. That’s negotiated.  But where it’s our natural resources, no, we must at least have 51 percent of the resources, which is quite generous mind you, because it’s 49 percent. You take 49 percent every year of 500 million, 49 percent of a billion. It’s a huge amount. The capital that’s aimed at mining, for example, is draining from my country resources that can’t be replaced tomorrow, leaving holes in my country……In Africa natural resources belong to us, we are owners of these resources. I don’t believe – and I’ve done economics – I don’t believe that capital is of greater value than the natural resources I have. So when a company comes and says it has capital to invest, it’s bringing equipment . . . the capital that is aimed at mining for example is drawing from my country a resource that cannot be replaced tomorrow, you’re leaving holes in my country and you want to say the capital is more valuable.  Your machine is more valuable than the gold that you are taking? That’s bad economics . . . God-given gold is much more beneficial and important to my country.”

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