Mines ministry perm sec sucked in gold mining claims scandal

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MINISTRY of Mines secretary Onesimo Mazai Moyo and three other senior employees have been sucked in a scandal in Midlands province regarding double allocation of gold mine claims, Zim Morning Post has learnt.

The syndicate involved Moyo along with Provincial Mining Director (PMD) Midlands Province Nelson Munyanduri and Alfred Tavengana who is employed as a surveyor by the ministry.

The trio allegedly received bribes from a company called AGKK Mining Syndicate to unlawfully grab a mine belonging to one Fungai Bangidza in Kwekwe.

According to papers seen by this publication, Munyanduri and Tavengana are said to have abused their office by giving AGKK a prospecting license to the mine with full knowledge that the mine belonged to Bangidza.

The owner has approached the ministry officials but the perm sec has been a stumbling block because he is siding with the PMD,” the source told this publcation.

The problem is that money exchanged hands from the provincial offices up to the national level,” the source said adding “The dispute has now been brought before mines minister Winston Chitando.”

Investigations by the Zim Morning Post also revealed that the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission has been alerted over the matter.

The two are said to have allocated the claim identified as Glen Arroch to AGKK, regardless of an existing dispute which barred its allocation to any other party.

Armed with full knowledge of the situation on the ground, Munyanduri proceeded to allocate the mine and defied the letter that was written to him by Bangidza advising him that the allocation was illegal.

Bangidza advised in the letter that he was the rightful occupant of the mine claim pending a High Court ruling.

In July 2019, using his powers,  Munyanduri further wrote a letter to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Midlands province instructing them to stop Bangidza from operating on his mine to pave way for AGKK to operate.

A court order was eventually given in August 2019 to bar activity at the mine but Munyanduri went ahead and processed a mining license certificate for AGKK.

Sources within the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development claim that the permanent secretary was aware of the problem in Midlands Province since it was not the first time a claim had been allocated to more than one person.

The secretary is believed to be working with the directors to make sure that their syndicate loot minerals during a court process, as it took longer.

The matter is still before the courts .

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