Chanakira or­dered to han­dle Dan­gote in­vest­ment project

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Zva­maida Mur­wira Harare Bu­reau

GOVERN­MENT has or­dered Zim­babwe In­vest­ment Au­thor­ity board chair­per­son Dr Nigel Chanakira to per­son­ally han­dle Nige­rian bil­lion­aire Aliko Dan­gote’s $1,2 bil­lion in­vest­ment project and pur­sue all the out­stand­ing reg­u­la­tory re­quire­ments to en­able his plans to take off.

This was re­vealed by Dr Chanakira yes­ter­day while giv­ing oral ev­i­dence be­fore a Par­lia­men­tary Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee on Youth De­vel­op­ment, Indi­geni­sa­tion and Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment chaired by Gok­weNem­budziya leg­is­la­tor Cde Jus­tice Mayor Wadya­jena on the ease of do­ing busi­ness in Zim­babwe.

The di­rec­tive by the Govern­ment comes in the wake of false me­dia re­ports re­cently that of­fi­cials from the Dan­gote Group had been de­nied visas to Harare.

Dr Chanakira said he met Macro-Eco­nomic Plan­ning and In­vest­ment Plan­ning Min­is­ter Dr Obert Mpofu where it was agreed that he takes full charge of Dan­gote in­vest­ment plans in Zim­babwe to en­sure they ma­te­ri­alise.

“To­mor­row I am meet­ing Dan­gote point per­son in Zim­babwe Josey Ma­hachi so that we can make a fol­low up to say is there any­thing else we can do as Govern­ment. When we met with our Min­is­ter to brief him, we agreed that I sin­gle­hand­edly take charge of Dan­gote file,” said Dr Chanakira.

He said some out­stand­ing reg­u­la­tory ap­proval had de­layed the com­mence­ment of the Dan­gote deal.

“Yes­ter­day we made a re­view of the Dan­gote project. There are is­sues to do with En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Agency and min­ing rights and per­mit. We also had bad pub­lic re­la­tions that was done cour­tesy of the Fi­nan­cial Gazette say­ing Dan­gote staff had been de­nied visas which was not true,” he said.

Mr Dan­gote, ranked among the wealth­i­est per­sons in Africa, had ex­pressed in­ter­est in power gen­er­a­tion, ce­ment pro­duc­tion and coal min­ing when he met Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe in Septem­ber last year.

Com­ment­ing on the indi­geni­sa­tion law, Dr Chanakira said there was a need to con­sider em­pow­er­ment cred­its and quo­tas to be con­ferred on com­pa­nies that would have made in­fras­truc­tural in­vest­ments like road con­struc­tion, sewage retic­u­la­tion like Zim­plats and Mi­mosa, which was or­di­nar­ily a role of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties.

He said in­vestors in the min­ing sec­tor were en­cour­aged by the pend­ing in­tro­duc­tion of bond notes par­tic­u­larly the en­ti­tle­ment of a five per­cent in­cen­tive which he said they could con­vert it into hard cur­rency.

“But I have also re­ceived a lot of calls on peo­ple ex­press­ing reser­va­tions on the bond notes. I have noted that they were not pop­u­lar,” he said.

He said there was a need to give le­gal ef­fect to cap­ture the clar­i­fi­ca­tion made by Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe on the three cat­e­gories of the econ­omy namely, the re­sources, non re­sources and re­served sec­tor where it was said the Govern­ment gave great weight to re­source sec­tor.

Some of the clar­i­fi­ca­tion made by Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe was when there ap­peared to be a stand-off be­tween Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pa­trick Chi­na­masa and Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe gov­er­nor Dr John Man­gudya on one hand and Youth De­vel­op­ment, Indi­geni­sa­tion and Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment Min­is­ter Pa­trick Zhuwao.

“Pres­i­dent talked of grey ar­eas in the law. In­vestors are say­ing yes your Pres­i­dent has said that, but where is the law. So there is need to align the law,” said Dr Chanakira.

He said re­ports of di­a­mond take over in Chi­adzwa had also shaken some for­eign in­vestors.

“Cap­i­tal is shy and when you fickle with it, it tends to frighten in­vestors. We will con­tinue to raise aware­ness cam­paigns,” said Dr Chanakira.

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