Renowned economist and global currency expert, Steve Hanke has warned foreign investors against investing in Zimbabwe as their investments won’t be protected.
During an address at the American thinktank, Cato Institute, Hanke cited the invasion of Gaika Mine in the Midlands province as a case study. Said, Hanke:
To get to a micro point, in February 2019, the Gaika Mine was invaded. This is a property rights issue.
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Again, these things are all property rights … money, hard budget constraints and a political party that dominates … and it’s fundamentally a crime syndicate.
If you look at this mine, it was invaded and taken over and the looting began. Then … within the past two weeks, the mine was finally sealed and the trespassers were thrown out.
But that’s not the end of the story, we have had 14 months since this particular mine in the Midlands was invaded … over 80 people killed, at least US$100 million has been looted from the mine, maybe double that.
Then the mine manager’s home in Kwekwe was invaded by youth wielding machetes. The group, or shall we say the gang, is Al Shabaab and the leader of this crime syndicate is … the current minister of State Security.
Security Minister, Owen Ncube, who hails from Kwekwe wrote to the former MP Vongai Mupereri fronted syndicate advising it to resume operations at the mine in spite of a High Court order barring the move. Wrote Ncube:
Be advised that the national Joint Operations Command (JOC) was never mandated or ordered to close the mine.
I have checked with the relevant authority on this issue. By the way of this minute, the syndicate can resume its operations. Any queries regarding the matter should be raised with the undersigned.
However, Midlands Resident Minister, Larry Mavima said that the invasion of Gaika Mine remains illegal.
In an interview with Daily News on Sunday, Mavima said:
My position is that the Gaika invasion remains illegal until a proper instruction from the Joint Operations Command (JOC) is directed to the provincial JOC.
The provincial JOC should not be given instructions by individuals. That letter is directed to the syndicate, not the provincial JOC.
The situation remains unchanged and the operations by the syndicate are illegal.
They must follow the proper channels to acquire a proper permit from the Ministry of Mines.
Zanu PF … and the president have no role in Gaika Mine. People must not use the party and the president’s name as well for their own benefit.
We are talking about property rights which are being violated. We cannot watch that anarchy prevailing. It’s not acceptable.
Zimbabwe is open for business and so we want investors to come in freely. Property rights must not be violated.