- January 21, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
The National Council of Chiefs President Chief Fortune Charumbira has blamed the chaotic situation in the artisanal mining sector on some officials in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, who corruptly facilitate the haphazard issuance of mining permits to prospectors even in villages.
The President Chief Fortune Charumbira in an interview yesterday on the sidelines of the chiefs’ strategic planning workshop underway in Mutare.
Zimbabwe is battling to bring sanity in the artisanal mining sector, which contributes significantly to gold production every year.
Illegal miners have mushroomed everywhere in search of gold.
The development has not only caused serious land degradation but has also resulted in battles for ownership of gold claims.
“The fight is not between the traditional leaders and the artisanal miners. The fight is between the traditional leaders and the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
“These people come with some papers and I have experienced it in the past three weeks in my area where three groups were given rights over the same claim.
“They are coming right into the village and saying we have been given papers here. We are coming with these big tanks which we have imported from China and we want to start mining. How can you start mining in the middle of someone’s kitchen in the village?” said Chief Charumbira.
“They say we have papers from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. We rejected and ordered them out. These people you call illegal miners if you go on the ground you will find that they have documentation from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development,” he said.
Chief Charumbira said it was wrong to brand the artisanal miners’ illegal elements.
“I do not think there is anybody in this country who does mining without some papers that allow them but when they come to communities people label them illegal miners yet it is the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development that is issuing them these papers. I believe there is a bit of corruption at lower levels by these officers when they issue these papers,” said Chief Charumbira.
He, however, noted that some of the artisanal miners were rowdy and disrespectful.
“There is disrespect. Some of them come in our communities and start digging and destroying the nature and order of everything, but what I am saying is that the makorokozas have permission to come into our areas disregarding the interest of the local communities. That is where the war is,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development were fruitless.
Source: Mining Zimbabwe