'Top politicians looting gold mine claims'

HARARE - Top politicians in President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF have been accused of seizing the majority of gold mine claims from small-scale miners in Mashonaland Central Province.

This emerged in Shamva during a tour by Parliament’s portfolio committee on Mines and Energy which started on Tuesday and is ending tommorrow.

The committee, chaired by Zanu PF MP Lovemore Matuke, is on a countrywide outreach programme to understand the operations of large-scale and small-scale gold operations and their impact on local communities.

Small-scale miners complained that most of their mines and claims were being taken over by powerful politicians.

Headman Kanengoni, one of the small-scale miners, complained bitterly about the expropriation. 

He was supported by a number of small-scale miners, who claimed that they had taken over the mines from returning German nationals but were now being dispossessed by powerful politicians.

“We have senior politicians in the province coming to take over our gold claims, saying they have been given permits to mine by the ministry of Mines,” Kanengoni said. “This is the case which is affecting us as small-scale miners.”

Matuke asked the miners to provide names of the politicians behind the hostile takeover, but the miners refused, fearing victimisation.

Speaking at the  same meeting in Shamva,  Zenzo Nsimbi, Metallon  Gold Mine  corporate affairs executive, said they were in the  process of  negotiating  with government  to delay the implementation of the  Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act on the  mine.

Metallon is owned by South Africa businessman Mzi Khumalo and employs 900 workers.
It produces 33 000 tonnes of gold annually.

“The company needs a lot of money through investing for it to continue operating as our South African investors have put in a lot of money to restart the mine when it was closed in 2009,” Nsimbi said. “We are currently in discussion with government over the Indigenisation Act to see how best to go about it.”

Nsimbi, a former Zimbabwe ambassador to Botswana, said $74 million was needed for the rehabilitation of the mine.

He said the mine was owed $24 million by the Reserve Bank of  Zimbabwe, which he said if repaid could go a long way in helping the company to remain afloat. He said Metallon Gold was struggling to settle $10 million water and electricity bills and to bankroll salaries of workers.

Shamva Gold Mine has been operating since 1893, and was bought by Metallon in 2009.
It has five sister mining companies, namely Redwing in Mutare, How Mine in Bulawayo, Mazowe Mine and Arcturus Mine in Mashonaland Central Province and Arcturus.

    Comments (8)

    Why do people expect to reap mangoes from a thorny tree? How long will it take people to realize that ZANU PF leadership thrives on looting??This is part of the party's corruption.

    BABAVOSVUTAROTA - 17 July 2014

    They say Smith stole the oranges on the Tree, and left the tree to bear more fruit... but ZPF stole the whole tree....(no more oranges.....bleak future for our grandkids)

    rudeboy - 17 July 2014

    The reporter made a factual error to the effect that Metallon mine produces 33,000 tons of gold annually.

    Chitoto Zvangu - 17 July 2014

    Iri ichokwadi riri kutaurwa nevanhu ava. Vakuru varikudya zvevapfupi nekureba . Apo takarwira nyika taiimba tichiti kwehupfumi tichagovana asi nhasi tavekungosudurutswa nevanemasimba. Hondo yehupfumi ihondo yakaipa chose , ticharwisana nenyaya idzodzi nevanoda kudzvanyirira vamwe. Imi register maclaims enyu vokuonai muine matsamba acho.

    WATYOKA T S - 17 July 2014

    Very painful to think that national resources are sqandered on european luxury. These guys are EU's good customers where they are buying cars ... you name it. The problem is that today's politicians to do not seem to think and plan for the next generation. We need to take a good reflection and think about our children.

    taurai - 17 July 2014

    Zim-CORRUPTION is the current economic programme not ZimASSET

    Mukanya - 18 July 2014

    Mukanya taurai henyu diko.ZimAsset to hoodwink people to think something is happening. The Devil blames innocent people for his own failure!!!

    gwinyiso diko - 18 July 2014

    Dont worry fellow brethren, thats how ZimAsset works. Eventually everything will be ok, just excercise a little patience, Remember our Chinese all-wether friends will be the to help us. They are not looting the gold claims but jus promoting ZimAsset and Indeginisation.

    Spiffy - 18 July 2014

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