HARARE – An Indian businessman and gold buyer has channeled an initial US$500 000 into the gold sector in Zimbabwe and plans to pour in millions of dollars in further investment in the mining industry, local media reported on Friday. 

Universal Exim, a company from Rajkot in India, has already set up shop in Bulawayo and is trading as Sparkplug Investments. In an interview, the director of Sparkplug Investments, Dipak Hindocha, said gold buying was a short term investment as his long term vision was to invest in gold mining in Zimbabwe.

“I have been granted a licence to buy and sell gold in Zimbabwe. So, I am pouring in US$500 000. I want to be the biggest buyer of gold in Zimbabwe but like many; “This is just a start, I know Zimbabwe is blessed with a lot of gold but I thought as a new investor with little knowledge of Zimbabwe I should start as a gold buyer and seller before I invest in mines,” he said. 

“This strategy will allow me to study the Zimbabwe gold industry and when I have studied it to my satisfaction I will then invest millions into gold mining.”

Hindocha said he decided to invest in Zimbabwe after the Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Raj Modi, visited India last year with good tidings about investment opportunities available in Zimbabwe.

“Your Deputy Minister convinced not only me but others to invest in Zimbabwe and more are coming. This country is peaceful and the crime rate is low. One only has come to Zimbabwe to see that the negative media reports about Zimbabwe are false,” said Hindocha.

The Indian businessman commended government’s economic reforms and said these were necessary for the economy to recover. Said Hindocha: “India went through what Zimbabwe is going through now, there was economic turmoil and the government had to implement painful reforms and today it is one of the biggest economies in the world. It is only a matter of time before Zimbabwe recovers”.

Deputy Minister Modi expressed confidence that more investors from India were interested in Zimbabwe’s precious metals and are coming to invest.

“Many Indian investors have inquired about buying minerals from Zimbabwe but some want to open mines or to invest in existing mines from the go. As Government our job is to ensure that all investments from investors who come to Zimbabwe are protected and we are doing that. Our economic reforms are bearing fruits as many foreign investors are interested in investing in our country,” he said.