Zimbabwe: Mugabe Uses Zanu-PF Conference to Rage and Threaten [miners] – by Alex Bell (All Africa.com – December 16, 2013)


ZANU PF’s ageing leader used the party’s conference this weekend to rage against the West, his old partners in government, the country’s economic position, the mining sector and more.

The 89 year old also moved to threaten some players in the country’s platinum and gold sectors, repeating calls to ban raw mineral exports. “We should not continue to send our minerals out in their raw form,” Mugabe told delegates at the party’s annual conference in Chinoyi.

He singled out Zimplats, a subsidiary of platinum-mining multinational Implats, for “externalising” raw platinum ore. “Zimplats has been exporting platinum but we have very little by way of earnings. We don’t know where the money is going. We must have our money back.”

Mugabe also said the government was considering slashing the number of diamond miners operating in the country. “We should be looking at the possibility of rationalising the mining of diamonds,” he said. “We have six companies mining diamonds, but of these six only three are really worth talking about. We would also want greater transparency.”

Mugabe also used the conference to take aim at his newly appointed Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, saying he should stop claiming that the government had no money.

“Find money Chinamasa. Where is our platinum, gold and diamonds going? You can’t say there is no money when others are taking it. Tell them we are the owners now and we are taking our money,” Mugabe said.

Mugabe, who spoke at both the opening and closing of the three day conference, said his party was “born again” after the widely disputed elections in July, saying his previous partners in government, the MDC-T were “dead and buried.”

“They will never rise again,” Mugabe said. “We dug graves for them and interred them in those graves.”

Mugabe also had nothing good to say about the previous coalition government, calling it a “humiliation” for ZANU PF.

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