BusinessCompaniesZimbabwe police chief attacks foreigners after mining setback


Posted on Monday, 24 September 2012 11:01

Zimbabwe police chief attacks foreigners after mining setback

Zimbabwe police commander Augustine Chihuri. Photo©ReutersZimbabwe police commander Augustine Chihuri has instructed his officers 'to defend the country from cunning foreigners' echoing President Robert Mugabe's often repeated claims that Harare is under siege from Western powers.

"Police officers must not allow thieves who come with the aim of looting the country's resources and destroy their spirit of unity," he  thundered at the weekend graduation of police recruits.

"Their presence must not cause decay but it must add value by utilising talent in them to improve situations and improve the nation as a whole.

"The bible says we must enjoy life in abundance but other people from overseas come and teach us the gospel that we must suffer on earth so that we can be rich in heaven.

"So young people you must work hard in defending this nation because God rightly created it for us."

Chihuri is considered to belong to a group of hardliners in Mugabe's camp who believe the veteran Zimbabwean ruler is being vilified by Western governments who want to recolonise the country.

As a way of fighting back, Mugabe is forging ahead with plans to seize majority stakes in foreign owned mining companies.

Chihuri's comments also came hard on the heels of revelations by government that it had withdrawn 334 Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPOs) from mining firms operating in the country.

The companies were accused of abusing the grants to raise millions of United States dollars through speculative practices involving international players.

In a latest government gazette, Rio Tinto Zimbabwe, Ashanti Gold­fields, Aquarium (Private) Lim­ited, Metallion Gold and Africa Star Hold­ings have been singled out as the culprits.

Mines and Mining Development deputy minister Gift Chimanikire said the firms were acting in bad faith as they were abusing the due diligence process which government carries out on all prospective international investors in the mining sector.

"We have unearthed this worrying development where foreign investors who were granted EPOs are raising capital on the stock exchange in their respective countries," he said.


"They are basically touting our resources by disclosing what the coun­try holds and luring investors without making any significant investments in the country."

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