Gold Graft: Mines ministry officials fingered in the men-made disputes

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  • Ministry overrides court orders
  • Cartel involves police, politicians and even magistrates
  • Mining ownership disputes are man-made

Officials in the Ministry of Mines have been fingered as the central cause in the man-made disputes in mining towns occurring around the country due to deliberate double allocation of registration certificates, Zim Morning Post can exclusively report.

An investigation carried by this publication shows that PMDs though armed with full knowledge on the ownership of mine claims in the country deliberately re-allocate mine claim certificates to their loyal syndicates who either give them cash upfront or a percentage of the loot.

“What surprises me is that when our mine was not producing enough gold no one came to say they had been offered the same mine but when we registered two kilograms of gold in one month some government official came with a mining registry claiming the claim belonged to him,” said one victim of the double allocation of mine claims in Zimbabwe.

An investigation by this publication showed that most of the gold claim disputes are occurring at mines that are producing gold above the average because ministry is leaking information to their syndicates.

Zim Morning Post can report that ministry of mines employees are directly involved in the mine claim disputes as they continue issuing mining cirtificates to individuals and companies regardless of existing court orders barring them to do so.

Some of the officials have not been arrested yet even though the law says anyone who is in contempt of court should be arrested.

One case involving the Midlands PMD Nelson Munyanduri and other employees of the ministry clearly shows that a mine certificate with registration number 31283 was issued despie the existing court order which barred the ministry to issue a registration certificate.

“Despite all efforts to bar the accused persons from registering mining claims on behalf of their favoured AGKK mining syndicate, the two accused persons abused their office and eventually issued a mining certificate number 31283 to AGKK mining syndicate ON 17 September 2019,” read state papers implicating Munyanduri and his three colleagues in a corruption case.

The officials are said to be pocketing money amounting to US$30 000 per individual to facilitate the process of double allocating the mines.

In some worst scenarios syndicates with links to politically connected persons can force a mine claim to be cancelled in favour of those syndicates.

Two ministers are said to have received US$70 000 and US$50 000 to protect these syndicates and continue mining on disputed claims without police interference.

The Mashonaland East provincial office is also in the norm of cancelling mining certificates to parties that are not paying them or not politically connected.

“I have tried to take my case of cancellation to court but the  judge kept on postponing it whilst these people were producing gold at my mine.

“When a court order is issued to bar production until dispute is resolved these people override it and send their syndicates in the middle of the night.”

Once they target your claim you are out no matter how much you take these people to court. They run a vicious cycle with MPs, Judges and Ministers,” are connected with the judges, the politicians and MPs

A victim in Chivhu said when her father-in-law’s mine certificate was cancelled they were attacked by machete gangs leading to the death of her nephew and imprisonment of family members who were operating at the mine.

“We had operated at our mine for a long period before one Minister and a Mvuma MP just walked in one day supported by police and violent hooligans to take over our mine. We approached the courts and got an interdict barring them from the illegal displacement but it was disobeyed.”

We are waiting for a court order but the hooligans are still mining guarded by police members of the support unit,” she further said.

Zimbabwe experiences violence in many mining towns regarding the ownership of those mine claims due to these deliberate double allocations.

In most cases the violence leads to death of people although invaders are hardly prosecuted.

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