Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have demanded that the parliamentary portfolio committee on Mines and Mining Development investigates leakages of gold in Penhalonga, where artisanal miners and a company owned by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ally, Scott Sakupwanya are extracting the metal.
Sakupwanya, who is a ZANU PF councillor for Mabvuku in Harare, owns Better Brands Mining Company, which is heavily involved in mining at Redwing Mine in Penhalonga.
The mining operations, formerly controlled by Metallon Gold, are now being done by Better Brands under the supervision of judicial managers.
Investigations by The NewsHawks have established that the mine is remitting to the government’s gold-buying agent Fidelity Refiners and Printers between 3.8kg and 5.6kg a month.
Illegal artisanal miners have invaded the gold fields allegedly with Sakupwanya’s concurrence.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The NewsHawks, James Mupfumi, the director for the Centre for Research and Development (CRD), a CSO which conducted investigations into the goings-on at Redwing Mine, said:
Parliament has a responsibility to track possibilities of money laundering and illicit financial outflows in Zimbabwe’s gold trade with Dubai because nothing is accruing to Zimbabwean citizens from its gold.
We are concerned about zero accountability and loss of lives in mining activities at Redwing Mine in Penhalonga.
The shielding of human rights abuse in gold mining by the government requires Parliament to hold the executive to account.
Gold is being looted in clear violation of environmental rights by the government. The Mnangagwa-led government has virtually frozen the law in gold mining in total violation of the constitution.
Chairperson of the Parliamentary portfolio committee on Mines, Edmund Mkaratigwa, who is also Shurugwi South MP (ZANU PF), said:
There are activities of criminal nature being witnessed in the area. They may not necessarily have to wait for us as we have tried to look at the broader legal, policy and administrative framework in that respect.
In fact, it means the security arms of government should move in unless there are strategic solutions.
Negative operational issues speak to inefficiency and ineffectiveness, issues which we addressed in our submissions and continue to help undo, through all powers and abilities at our disposal.
Mrakatigwa said that lawlessness cannot be tolerated adding that authorities remain open to attending to any issue that requires the committee’s attention.