10 July 2017

Zimbabwe: Miners Says Disputes Costing Gold Sector a Lot, Finger Corrupt Ministry Officials

Unresolved mining disputes are adversely affecting investor confidence as well as production in the sector, Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) has said.

In an interview, ZMF first vice president, Ishmael Kaguru, said the unresolved disputes were mainly rife in the gold sector.

Kaguru said about 80 percent of the mining disputes are as a result of corruption by officials in the Ministry of Mines.

"There is need for the Ministry of Mines to expedite the settlement of mining disputes arising mostly in the gold sector. We have also observed that about 80 percent of the disputes are not genuine. They are created out of corruption. The time frame which it takes to resolve those disputes pains us. At the end of the day that is costing the country," said Kaguru.

He demanded an explanation from the ministry why it was taking so long to resolve the disputes.

"You find a dispute taking a year or more without being resolved. When miners make an appeal to the disciplinary committee, it takes time for it to come up with a determination," he said.

Kaguru said the country is losing gold due to non-production caused by conflicts emanating from ownership of mines.

According to Kaguru, Matabeleland South the biggest gold producing province, has the most disputes.

He said the escalating mining disputes were also stifling small scale miners' efforts to attain the 28 tonnes of gold production target set by the government. Small scale miners have pledged to produce 12 tonnes of the allocated total production.

"We are losing a lot of potential investors because of this anomaly .We have an issue in Maphisa where an investor is crying foul after having invested in a lot of equipment but production has not yet started due to a dispute," added Kaguru.

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