By Darlington Gatsi
INDEPENDENT Norton legislator, Temba Mliswa has heaped praise on government for awarding President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ally, Pedzisai ‘Scott’ Sakupwanya a gold refining licence.
The mining magnet was given a permit to refine the precious mineral in a questionable move observers and watchdogs view as influence peddling, bordering on corruption.
Sakupwanya, a Zanu PF Mabvuku-Tafara councillor, has strong links to the first family.
Mliswa said the licence award was an affirmation of government’s confidence in, and commitment to, black empowerment.
“The awarding of a gold refining licence to Scott Sakupwanya is a commendable move which we should celebrate as part of black empowerment. The giving of a second licence to a black and local person is a good move. Government must continue to do that.
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“Government has previously done the same in awarding huge licences in telecoms to people like Strive Masiyiwa and James Makamba. That should happen across all industrial sectors so that wealth and riches are retained by locals
“The empowerment of locals is a basic fundament of any upper middle income vision. Scott has shown an ability and gift in the gold sector and that should be supported,” said Mliswa in a series of tweets.
Sakupwanya won Gold Seller of The Year accolade at a lavish event at State House, last year.
Government, through Fidelity Refiners, was previously the sole authorised buyer of gold, but the stance was slowly changing to allow private players to trade.
Mnangagwa has set an ambitious target of turning the mining industry into US$12 billion by 2023.