President Robert Mugabe Wants Blacks to Control Foreign-Owned Mining Firms

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has said he wants native blacks to have full control of foreign-owned mining firms operating in Zimbabwe.

The statement was made by the 88-year-old leader in a speech during the official opening of the ZANU-PF party conference in Harare, capital of Zimbabwe.

Mugabe said: “I have told the ministry of mining that I think now we have done enough of 51-49. Let it be 100 percent. Then we do not send anything out. We do not send out that 49 percent,”.

The statement by Mr. Mugabe was not supported by his Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party which is in a coalition government with Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party. The MDC sees President Mugabe’s “indigenization” policy” as a factor that splits Zimbabwe’s coalition government and thinks it scares away foreign investors.

As long as Zimbabweans were in charge of their resources, President Mugabe has levied the fears raised by the MDC party as the least of his concerns:…“Let us be our own master, our own true developer of our resources,” he said.

Critics believe that the threat of total seizure of foreign-owned mining firms is the Zimbabwean president’s attempt to prepare himself for the forth coming presidential elections in 2013.