THE Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) Annual State of Corruption report for 2012 shows that mining policies appear to be partisan and are being abused by Zanu PF for private gain.
The report brings to the fore corruption involving those entrusted with power and authority.
Zanu PF officials who use the mining industry for political expediency and self-aggrandisement rather than for growth and development to sustain the industry are on the list of corrupt officials.
Top police and military officers, bureaucrats and influential business people are also cited among the most corrupt.
According to the report, about 62% of Zimbabweans have paid a bribe in different sectors of the economy, including the judiciary, tax revenue and land services.
People interviewed by TIZ in Gwanda and Kwekwe, for instance, said: “Machef emusangano (Zanu-PF top officials) ndivo vari pamberi penyaya dzehuori nekuti ndivo vanotanga kana tasvika panyaya dzengoda (the Zanu PF bigwigs are the ones involved in corruption as they are the ones who control gold panning).”
According to the report, if one does not bribe Mines ministry officials, their chances of acquiring a mining licence will be close to nil, which explains why most people are illegal miners.
It said politicians, acting in cahoots with the police as well as illegal miners, are depriving the country of gold and revenues which should contribute to economic growth.
The involvement of the police and military suggests that limited recourse to justice is available to small-scale and artisanal miners because of fear of backlash and intimidation.
TIZ lead researcher Farai Mutondoro said the main findings of the report showed that illicit activities and corruption tendencies are destroying the economy.
The mining sector contributes about 16,5% of gross domestic product (GDP) with gold weighing in with around 30% of this contribution, implying that gold is officially contributing around 5% of the GDP.
“There are high chances that this figure can be understated by as much as 10%-20% as a result of leakages and corruption,” said Mutondoro.
If incorporated, the gold contribution could be as high as 8% of GDP while the mining sector contribution could be as high as 20%.
TIZ has recommended the establishment of a clear policy and the legal and institutional framework governing the Community Share Ownership Trusts (CSOT).
Currently, the framework governing CSOT is not clear as there are contestations between the ministry of indigenisation and the ministry of local government over control of the CSOT.
It is government’s duty to ensure that the CSOT are governed by one ministry and a CSOT Act would give it a clear legal structure which is non-partisan.