PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday backstabbed his predecessor Robert Mugabe accusing him of blocking and delaying multi-million-dollar investment projects that could have jumpstarted the economy over the past decades.
Speaking at the official opening of the $4,3 million Karo Resources platinum mining project in Mhondoro-Ngezi, Mnangagwa claimed the project could have started a decade ago but was halted by Mugabe under unclear circumstances.
“He (Karo board chairperson Loucas Pouroulis) first came to Zimbabwe in 2007 wanting to look into the mining sector.
By 2008/2009 we had identified this project, but we have lost 10 years as a result of many people in positions of authority who had no vision,” he said.
Mnangagwa described himself as “Mr Ground Breaking” because of his vision and his ‘Zimbabwe is Open Business Mantra.’
“The ground-breaking ceremony at Hwange 7 and 8 came shortly after I commissioned the reopening of Eureka Mine and Shabanie Mine and this is indicative of a rebound in the mining sector … I am now called Mr Ground Breaking.
Yesterday, we did another ground-breaking at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport,” he said.
“There has been a rebound in the mining sector as a whole. Recently we reopened Mashava mines creating 9 000 jobs, in Hwange we had a ground-breaking ceremony and created 3 000 jobs, we did the same in Beitbridge,” the Zanu PF leader said.
Mnangagwa said he was happy Mugabe’s regime had been stopped.
“I am glad that we are here and that the man who was stopping you (Karo Resources) from being here is not here, I have a new minister of Mines, it is happening now because there is a wind of change,” he said.
The project is expected to create 15 000 direct and 75 000 downstream jobs inside four years.
Mines minister Winston Chitando said: “Zimbabwe mining space will never be the same again, the impact on Zimbabwe economy is massive at its peak it will be able to produce 14,4 million tonnes per annum in four years of PGMs [platinum group metals]. Zimbabwe will become a much more significant producer of PGMs, base and precious metals and is moving towards beneficiation by setting up a refinery by 2024.”
The official opening was attended by Pouroulis and his family, Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Mashonaland West chiefs.