MPs reprimand Police Minerals Unit

HARARE - Legislators yesterday castigated police for corruption and mismanagement of gold recovered from illegal gold dealers.

The parliamentary portfolio committee on Mines and Energy chaired by Zanu PF MP Lovemore Matuke heard oral evidence from Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Minerals Squad led by Senior Assistant Commissioner Silas Pondo. 

Matuke said the public had lost confidence in the police Minerals Squad amid reports that some police officers had accumulated wealth from gold dealings.

“We have reports that all gold is not being remitted to the State after the police would have recovered it from the panners,” Matuke said.

“We have some junior police officers who become rich as they are working in the police Minerals Unit. Are you investigating how they have accumulated their wealth?”

Pondo said they have not arrested any police officer for corruption or stealing gold from panners.

“We do not have records of police being arrested for stealing gold,” Pondo said.

“We have a thorough vetting of the members who join our Minerals  Unit and we check on them. All the gold we recover from the panners is submitted to the ministry of Mines.”

He said most of the gold is used as exhibitS in court cases against the illegal panners.

However, legislators objected to the statement, arguing that many panners appear in court facing charges of illegal possession of gold but the amount will be reduced.

Remigious Matangira, Zanu PF MP for Bindura South, questioned whether there was transparency on how the gold was transferred from police stations to courts as exhibit and to the ministry of Mines for safe keeping.

“I know a case where a panner was found in possession of many kilogrammes of gold but when he appeared in court it was reduced to grammes,” Matangira said.

“He was arrested by police in the bush with the gold. What happens to the gold when it is with the police?”

Pondo said the police were very transparent in dealing with gold recovered from illegal panners.

“We have arrested many people who are dealing in gold and we have brought them before courts. For example we arrested a panner who had 5,9kg og gold in Beitbridge and the matter is before courts and  we have not received any complaints of gold theft by police,” Pondo said.

Comments (1)

Pondo said the police were very transparent in dealing with gold recovered from illegal panners.....hahahaha who is this guy foolin

bonie - 1 April 2014

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