Gapare, who owns GAT Mines, only attended one meeting of the subcommittee and was fired immediately after the meeting, a development industry representatives feel was to silence the chamber’s views on the committee.
He is said to have rallied small scale miners to agree to the chamber’s main views on mines.
The chamber believes government should not pursue a wholesale equity empowerment but should also introduce credits for corporate social investments to determine equity thresholds. This, mines say, will encourage social investments.
Although CEO Wilson Gwatiringa says Gapare’s removal from the indigenisation subcommittee on mining was due to an “oversight”, well placed sources say the chamber boss was sacked for not promoting a wholesale takeover of mines.
Documents show that only 15 members had been appointed but sources say NIEEB will soon appoint a traditional chief, widely viewed as a Zanu PF sympathiser in Gapare’s place.
Committee members are Chris Hokonya, Chris Mutsvangwa, Trevor Manhanga, Trynos Nkomo, Annackleta Gumba, Hamilton Pazvakavambwa, Walter Sarabga, Richard Mubaiwa, Supa Mandiwanzira, Eng Mukudu, Forbes Magumbate, Elizabeth Chitiga, John Mangudya and Tinashe Rwodzi (chairman).
A letter dated September 17 and circulated to members of the chamber from NIEEB CEO Wilson Gwatiringa to Gapare reads: “I write to advise that you are no longer a member of the Mines Sectoral Committee on Indigenisation with immediate effect. The reason is that the total number of committee members has exceeded 16, in contravention of Statutory Instrument 116 of 2010 Section 6 5(1). This was due to an oversight on our part.”
Gwatiringa claimed NIEEB had also considered Gapare’s “busy schedule” and that the chamber was already represented on the sub-committee.
“In reaching the decision, NIEEB considered your very busy schedule and the fact that the Chamber of Mines will still be represented by your chief executive officer who is also a committee member,” added Gwatiringa.
Following the revision of indigenisation and economic empowerment regulations gazetted in January compelling foreigners to “cede” controlling stakes in all businesses valued above US$500 000, government set up sub-committees to look at the shareholding thresholds and come up with modalities on how best to implement the policy in various sectors of the economy.
Sources say government might not want committee members with dissenting views.