|‘Ncube must uphold the national interest’|
|Saturday, 08 September 2012 21:43|
Cabinet has directed Industry and Commerce Minister Professor Welshman Ncube to work closely with his Mines and Mining Development counterpart Dr Obert Mpofu on the multi-million-dollar iron extraction deal between the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (New Zimbabwe Steel) and Indian steel giant Essar Africa Holdings so as to ensure that Zimbabwe’s interests are protected.
Sources last week said while Cabinet agreed on the full implementation of the initial Share and Purchase Agreement on a 54 percent/46 percent basis and the transfer of ore deposits at Buchwa and Ripple Creek to Essar, it also implored Prof Ncube to uphold transparency and abide by the law in the national interest.
“Cabinet resolved that the signed full agreement with details on New Zimbabwe Steel and New Zimbabwe Minerals should be availed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development and the rest of Cabinet,” said a source.
“Minister Ncube was also told to work closely with the relevant ministers to ensure the agreement is implemented accordingly.”
“It was also agreed that Essar should be granted the rights to jointly explore for iron ore with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development in the undisputed section of the Reserve Notice Area at Manhize Range.”
Press reports last week gave the false impression that Prof Ncube had been given carte blanche to proceed with the deal. The official position is that he must ensure the national interest is upheld.