UNDER fire Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) is seized with an obligation to curb leakages of semi-precious minerals that implicates top officials within the body, Zim Morning post has learnt.
The country is losing a lot of revenue as some top officials (names withheld) at MMCZ are allegedly participating in a well-knit syndicate working in cahoots with some directors at the Ministry of Mines to leak and smuggle semi-precious minerals to different foreign destinations.
“What is happening is these top officials understate the quantity of minerals for export in the documentation, but on the ground they load more minerals and then share the loot with the foreign nationals.
“These semi-precious minerals are very lucrative outside of the country and these guys are making a killing.
“Top guys are involved in this syndicate and MMCZ is supposed to be the custodian of minerals yet they are the major culprits,” added the source.
MMCZ chief executive, Tongai Muzenda told Zim Morning Post that he was working tooth and nail to curb more leakages.
“ It is possible that there are leakages but not caused by MMCZ,” he said.
“We have monitoring and inspection sections in the organization and recently we advertised for six posts of inspectors in an endeavor to curb the leakages.
“Secondly we have other arms of the State assisting in a similar vein.
“We are also in partnership with NRZ where the later is constructing weigh bridges which we funded.
“Engagements with Zimra are also ongoing. We are also at an advanced stage of a statutory instrument to criminalize export is gemstones without the requisite documentation. I believe with all these efforts we will control the leakages,” said Muzenda.
Zimbabwe has about 36 semi-precious minerals that include agate, amethyst and tantalite.
Mines and Mining Development minister, Winston Chitando is on record saying the mining industry targeted to generate $12 billion revenue by 2025.