Chinese cement deal in limbo
Plans to set up a cement-making factory in Zvishavane in Zimbabwe by the Chinese have hit a snag after it emerged that the area’s mining rights to Shabanie Mashaba Mines (Pvt) Ltd.
“The cement factory is a deal that should be implemented with the Chinese after the President’s visit to China last year as well as negotiations between the Joint Zimbabwe-China Permanent Commission.
However, they (Chinese) can only set up the factory when the issue of mining claims to the area held by SMM has been resolved. SMM is still the subject of an ownership wrangle between government and South African-based businessman Mutumwa Mawere.
The Zimbabwean government has been actively seeking foreign direct investment to shore up its moribund economy hit by a liquidity crunch and low investor confidence due to indigenisation laws which compel foreigners to cede a 51% stake in their companies to black Zimbabweans.
Where there have been MOUs and agreements, particularly with China and Russia, implementation has been hindered by bureaucratic bungling on the part of government.