'Mugabe vandalised mining sector'

HARARE - Former president Robert Mugabe’s government presided over moral decay in the once vibrant and productive mining sector, a study has revealed.

A comprehensive research contained in a book, recently launched in the city titled Corruption risk assessment mining awards in Zimbabwe, carried out by the Transparency International Zimbabwe exposes what has contributed to the underperformance of the mining sector in the past three decades.

In the analysis, the research highlights the political, economic, regulatory, technological and social and environmental factors that have thrown the sector to its current unenviable status.

Mugabe’s 37-year stay in power decimated mining sector performance. “Zimbabwe is a deeply divided fragile state. The country has been presided over by one person ... Mugabe and one party, Zanu PF, since independence from minority rule in 1980,” reads part of the report.

The report indicates that the style of government employed then was characterised by patron-client relationships and state capture for example where formal institutions were kept purposefully weak and private and public spheres were not easily separable.

The report also notes that President Emmerson Mnangagwa was a victim of Mugabe’s factionalism tactics which affected economic development.

“Party factionalism directly affects State institutions including the military. Party factions frustrate and sabotage the efforts of the other, both within and between ministries.

“An example is the sabotage of the ... Mnangagwa backed investment agreements with Aliko Dangote, in cement manufacturing, coal mining and power generation,” the report says.

On the economic front, the report highlighted royalties which are the highest in the region and unstable and a tax system that is fragmented.

“Ground rentals are high; there are insufficient tax incentives to reduce the risks of exploration.

“The additional profits tax on special mining leases is burdensome and this militates against big expenditure.”

However, corruption is cited as the biggest culprit in the performance of the mining sector.