The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has with immediate effect suspended alleged corrupt officials from Mashonaland West and Central with the major casualty being the Mash Central office which has temporarily been closed to pave way for further investigations, the Zim Morning Post has learnt.
At the Mashonaland Central , scores of surveyors and technical staff including the province’s Mining Director Malcom Mazemo were suspended.
The alleged corrupt officials were implicated in an array of corrupt activities including double allocation of Special gold mining grants , tampering with site beacons, forging documents and misrepresenting facts to the head office among others.
Zim Morning Post understands the suspensions follows a barrage of complaints that had inundated the permanent secretary and minister Winston Chitando ’s office.
“As a result, and in line with the Zimbabwe is Open for Business Mantra and in line with the thrust for zero tolerance for corruption by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Cde E.D. Mnangagwa, the Ministry had been and will be investigating all complaints of malpractices by its staff,” read part of the statement released by the ministry on Friday.
These investigations have resulted in the suspension of surveyors at its Mashonaland West Provincial Mining Office, technical staff at the Mashonaland Central Provincial Office including the Provincial Mining Director hence paving way for thorough investigations.
“Such investigations have resulted in the suspension of Surveyors at its Mashonaland West Provincial Mining Office. Similar investigations have resulted in the simultaneous suspension of duty today 5th July, 2019 of most of the technical staff at the Mashonaland Central Provincial Office including the Provincial Mining Director.”
“These suspensions have been done in order to pave way for thorough investigations. Following the suspension of several of the technical staff at the Mashonaland Central Provincial Office, it has become necessary to temporarily suspend all services offered by that office with effect from today Friday 5th July, 2019, until end of day Wednesday 10th July 2019, to allow the Ministry to put in place measures to enable sound service delivery whilst investigations are in progress,” reads the statement.
Investigations made by this publication established that the spark to the suspensions was a hot dispute between one Pius Madzimure and Eunice Madyengove over a claim which was previously grabbed by former First Lady Grace Mugabe in Mazowe.
“The issue which sparked these suspensions is that of Madzimure and Madyengove of Justice Syndicate.
“Intrestingly, both parties are holders of seemingly valid papers to prove ownership meaning that some corrupt officials tampered with the papers for one of the parties.
“Madzimure has been mining there since 2012 before Grace (Mugabe) invaded and they had a bitter fight.
“Madzimure then wrote to the ministry raising these anomalies and malpractice by the officials and Madyengove’s sister Melody was actually planning to take the matter to court after both parties’ hearing at the Bindura office were inconclusive,” explained our source.
The Mash Central provincial mining director Mazemo is not new to controversy and allegations of corruption.
This publication exposed how directors in the ministry bought top of the range vehicles for a song and Mazemo was caught in the dragnet.
He bought an Isuzu KB250 Double Cab (Reg number AEF5905, Chasis No. ADMCSCJR2G4786587) for $1 500 RTGS dollars (US$500 using current black market rates) when the vehicle was purchased for $46 000 United States Dollars in September 2016.
Reports reaching us state that Ministry of Mines has been holding the gold sector at ransom by failing to expeditiously resolve conflicts bedevilling small scale miners leading to underproduction of gold in the country.
Meanwhile, the law states that once disputes arise between miners, they cannot continue mining hence the negligence by the Ministry in dealing with these conflicts is leading to the underproduction of gold in the country.
The Ministry plans to grow mineral revenue from a projected 4,2 Billion this year to 12 Billion by 2023 and this cannot be achieved when there is underproduction and corruption.