Zimbabwe: Parly Red Flags Corruption in Mining Title Claims

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development has raised a red flag over alleged rampant corruption in the administration of mining title claims.

The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has of late been dogged by allegations that officials are involved in corrupt activities over the issuance of mining rights and pegging for claims.

Some of the disputes are before the courts of law, while several others have lodged complaints with the ministry.

The allegations appear to be largely concentrated in the gold sector -- which coincidentally is one of the country's single largest foreign currency earners.

In an interview, the portfolio committee on Mines and Mining Development said it had of late been inundated with complaints over the handling of mining title.

The committee noted that if this is not addressed with speed, it could compromise the sector's quest to grow annual exports to US$12 billion by 2023 up from US$2.7 billion in 2017.

"It is unfortunate that we have, of late, noted an increase in allegations of corruption in the administration of mineral rich claims," said committee chair Edmond Mkaratigwa.

"Our focus for now should be on delivering on the 2023 but we are worried this could be derailed.

"Our hope was that by now the ministry would have implemented the much-touted cadestre system, which we are convinced is efficient in the administration of claims but there seems to be continued delays," said Mr Mkaratigwa.

The committee chair also noted that moving on it looks forward to collaborating and sharing information with the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission as it seeks to fight corruption.

Although Mines Minister Winston Chitando could not be reached for a comment yesterday, it is believed the ministry has in the past went public in its fight against corruption.

The New Dispensation under President Mnangagwa has also committed itself to fighting corruption as one of the strategies with which it seeks to revive the economy.

In May last year, the ministry suspended the provincial mining director in Mashonaland Central Province together with seven other officials on allegation of corruption.

Two surveyors from Mashonaland West Province were also suspended.

The committee chair also noted that they would engage the ministry over the new Mines and Mining Development Bill, which he hoped will plug loopholes being utilised by unscrupulous officials.

Mining is central to Zimbabwe's economic revival prospects and authorities are likely to be jolted by disturbances in that sector.

Gold, the most targeted sector by these corruption rackets, is envisaged to rump up production to 100 tonnes annually by 2023 up from an all-time high of 33.2 tonnes.

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