- July 25, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
• MMCZ intensifies monitoring and inspection
Zimbabwe is being robbed of millions worth of chrome through a complex smuggling syndicate involving Chinese who have been under-declaring volumes of chrome supported by a number of unscrupulous Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) and Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) officials.
Information gathered points to the fact that the chrome that is being declared at various weighbridges owned by MMCZ across the country does not tally with the volumes of chrome exported through the borders.
A well-placed source with MMCZ said the state-owned minerals marketer has been receiving reports of possible rampant smuggling of chrome through under-declaration.
“The country has been losing millions through this cartel of chrome smugglers who are working with Zimra and MMCZ officials. This has been going on for some time but no concrete action has been made to monitor how much chrome goes through weighbridges and how much is then declared to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe through CD1 forms.
“MMCZ just recently received reports of chrome that was being smuggled through the border especially the Forbes Border Post. This carted has mainly been driven by Chinese that are into small scale chrome mining,” said the source.
The continued smuggling of chrome has pushed MMCZ to set up more weighbridges across the country to curb this scourge. Also involved in this smuggling scam are government top officials.
MMCZ general manager Tongai Muzenda told Mining Zimbabwe that the state minerals marketer has intensified its monitoring systems to bust any possible leakage of minerals, especially chrome.
This has seen MMCZ increasing the number of its monitoring team to physically man all mining sites across the country.
“We have heard about those reports but some just come as rumours but as MMCZ we have taken an initiative of intensifying our monitoring systems. This has seen us increase the number of people by six,” Muzenda said.
In February this year, a Mutare-based official was arrested on allegations of attempting to facilitate the smuggling of a truckload of chrome ore to Mozambique. The chrome intercepted had a value of roughly US$25 000.
On the side of Zimra, its officials are also accused of being complicit in carrying out export duties while issuing fraudulent bills of entry.
A World Bank report dubbed “The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018”, documents Africa’s impoverishment by the rampant extraction of minerals, oil and gas.
In the report, the bank concludes that sub-Saharan Africa loses about $100-billion worth of adjusted net savings annually through massive looting of minerals.
It is “the only region with periods of negative levels — averaging negative three per cent of gross national income over the past decade — suggesting that its development policies are not yet sufficiently promoting sustainable economic growth and clearly, natural resource depletion remains one of the key drivers of negative adjusted net savings in the region.”
This article first appeared in the Mining Newsweek 20 July 2020 issue