HomeBusiness DigestZacc probes gold mine row

Zacc probes gold mine row

BY SHAME MAKOSHORI

BLACKGATE investments, a firm that last week lost the disputed Ran Gold Mines near Bindura, has mounted fresh attempts to reclaim the asset, submitting explosive dossiers to anti-corruption agencies alleging ‘mass corruption, racketeering and bribery’ at the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.

The dossiers, which were submitted to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) and the Special Anti — Corruption Unit (Sacu), raised previous concerns that Mines ministry officials set in the vortex of problems dogging the administration and allocation of minerals claims across the country.

Presidential spokesperson, George Charamba told businessdigest three weeks ago that the presidency was also concerned by rising cases of disputes over goldfields.

Mines minister, Winston Chitando ruled last week that the gold mine at the heart of confrontations between mining executive Jack Murehwa’s G&P Industries and Ran Mines and businesswoman, Angeline Munyeza’s Blackgate Investments belonged to the Murehwa consortium.

But Munyeza, leaving no stone unturned in the battle in which she claims is replete with political muscle flexing, took the case to Zacc after approaching SACU in December.

She said a total clean-up was long overdue to rid the ministry of ‘selfish self-interest’ which could be underpinning massive looting of Zimbabwe’s minerals.

“The anomalies and irregularities . . . which we strongly allege the ministry is perpetuating along with other interested parties include bribery, collusion, racketeering and an appalling reluctance to uphold the constitutional processes of both the ministry and country,” she said in the dossier addressed to Zacc boss Loyce Matanda-Moyo.

“We are being prejudiced from what is rightfully ours and we can evidently assume that we are victims of an invisible hand of a corrupt, nefarious and collusion scheming with the sole objective of looting and plundering the mineral resource of this country recklessly. We ardently believe that this web of racketeering characterised by abuse of power, bribe taking and pure malice has been perpetuated by ministry officials, private individuals and politicians who have nothing but selfish interest, thus it has to be busted and exposed . . . through those evidence anchored revelations . . . the blatant acts of corruption and irregularities,” Munyeza said.

businessdigest understands that Zacc has allocated the dossier to investigators to strike the bottom of corruption claims by Blackgate.

However, Charamba said the President’s Office was yet to receive the SACU dossier.

Munyeza said Chitando should have sought opinion of the attorney general’s office.

Blackagate, she said, was disturbed because Chitando had disregarded the findings of a mining commissioner, who had previously said the claims belonged to the company.

Chitando has not responded to several questions about the dispute sent to him.

In his letter handing over the claims to G&P, Chitando said: “The ground that Blackgate pegged was not open to prospecting and pegging according to Section 31 of the Mines and Minerals Act at the time that Blackgate purports to have repegged and subsequently registered the claim known as Kimberley 18, which belongs to RAN Mine and G&P Industries. In light of these findings, the certificates issued to Blackgate Investments were issued in error. I hereby cancel certificates of registration numbers 36 375 and 37 353 respectively”.

But Munyeza rejected the ruling.

She accused Chitando of slipping into contempt by avoiding a key Supreme Court order in coming up with the determination.

Documents seen by businessdigest indicated that Blackgate holds permits demonstrating ownership to the goldfields, which have now been cancelled.

The Zimbabwe Independent has reported that in a 76-page letter submitted to President Emmerson Mnangagwa in December, Blackgate claimed that G&P Industries had warned them to tread carefully as the asset belonged to the family of the late Robert Mugabe.

The letter claimed that after Mugabe unceremoniously left power in 2017, G&P summersaulted and claimed that Mnangagwa had taken over the asset, which collapsed in 1999 before attracting armies of artisanal miners.

G&P has indicated that it has a US$6,5 million war chest to rebuild Ran Mines, which made headlines in November, after its shafts collapsed under heavy flooding as torrential rains swept through Zimbabwe.

In her letter to Mnangagwa, Munyeza said Zimbabwe lost about US$500 million in potential gold exports during the prolonged dispute.

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