- June 17, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
Mines and Mining Development Ministry leadership’s inaction to fix Certificate issuance problems has created loopholes for corrupt Mines Officials to manipulate leading to gold leakage onto the parallel market, unending claim disputes, and illegal mining amongst others.
Corruption is rife at the Ministry’s provincial offices dotted across the country with double allocations being a common feature which is usually a deliberate attempt to wrestle high yielding claims by corrupt Mines Ministry Officials to the highest bidder or persons with much deeper pockets.
This is how the corrupt syndicates operate;
- An ordinary person or prospector is allowed to part ways with his hard-earned cash to acquire a prospectors license zwl1000.
- The Ministry hands him over to a pegger who charges from US$300 to 500 (some are known to advertise for US$2000 and all work is done quickly and certificates issued immediately).
- Pegger does his or her part and submits the documents to the ministry such that they may come and verify what has been done by the pegger. The customer pays registration fees of zw$1,000 (also customer incurs a cost, fuel or hiring a car, time wasted, loss of business attending to this, etc)
- Once the documents are in the Ministry’s hands the customer awaits a call from the ministry such that the customer may show the mines officers the temporary beacons marked by the pegger. (This is where the whole process dies).
- As the customer waits for no 4 to take place time will be ticking and the prospector’s licenses life span expires and Mines Ministry is not compelled to action expired applications.
- While waiting for no.4 the Ministry has no staff and no vehicle and no fuel to attend to applications. They do not accept to be ferried to and from the site by miners for security reasons.
- While waiting for no.4 the Ministry will be taking in new applications and collecting 1 and 3 non-stop.
- For years this system has been happening at mines offices to the point that their maps are so heavily marked and you can’t tell who is who on their maps. In Mines Gweru Office’s case, they direct you to peggers that charge for one to browse their maps.
- With all the money collected year in and year out Mines Ministry cannot afford, either new maps or Fuel to service their mining areas, etc.
- On the other hand, special grants applications will be also flowing in and getting trapped just like the above.
- When anyone with under the table money, or a well-connected person comes through, their application is processed fast and a site visit is done and certificate/s issued.
Certificates are being issued but the question is to who and why are procedures of first come first serve not followed especially to those who paid through the nose. Recently as many as 600 claims were forfeited and experts questioned ministry’s motive for taking such a retrogressive action which likely resulted in killing off struggling small scale mining projects. Mining Zimbabwe recently sent the Mines and Mining Development Minister a list dating back to 2017 of miners still awaiting certificates and up to now, there has been no action taken.