By MacDonald Dzirutwe*
HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe has changed its empowerment law to limit majority ownership by state entities to only diamond and platinum mines and not the entire mining sector as in previous legislation, according to a government notice.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa first announced the proposed changes to scale back the mine ownership in the 2018 budget statement in December.
The amendments were included in the Finance Act, which covers the 2018 budget and were signed into law by Mnangagwa on March 14, a government notice seen by Reuters on Monday showed.
Foreign investors are allowed to have full control in any other mining venture, the notice said.
Mnangagwa has said at various forums that “Zimbabwe is open for business” as he seeks to revive an economy that was ruined under Mugabe’s near four-decade rule.
Zimbabwe has the second largest known platinum deposits after South Africa and the two largest producers Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum Holdings have operations in the country.
The amendments also open up 12 sectors previously reserved for locals such as bakeries, transport and beauty salons to Zimbabweans of all races instead of black Zimbabweans.