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Graft rocks Midlands Mines office

by Staff reporter
10 Oct 2023 at 07:47hrs | Views
The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) has published a report that exposes widespread corruption purportedly occurring at the offices of the Midlands provincial mining department (PMD).

In this report, dated October 6 and authored by the organization's director, Obert Chinhamo, the activities are characterized as a significant threat to national development. The document asserts that the mining offices have fallen under the control of corrupt groups.

The report states, "The office stands accused of engaging in corruption and mismanagement that jeopardizes national development and the realization of Zimbabwe's vision for 2030. ACT-SA has been receiving numerous reports since 2018 indicating that the mining office has been co-opted by certain individuals, including political elites, wealthy miners, and claim holders who influence the office's operations and decision-making process."

"Additionally, there are reports of the existence of syndicates involving officials within the mining offices that unlawfully acquire mines belonging to economically disadvantaged individuals who lack connections. This corruption persists unchecked and often without consequences."

The report also discloses that some individuals receive preferential treatment, bypassing long queues at the provincial mining director's secretary's office. Meanwhile, miners who have traveled long distances, some from places as distant as Gokwe North and Mberengwa, are disregarded.

The report continues, "Based on corruption tips and complaints received by ACT-SA over the years, it can be concluded that the previous arrests targeting certain PMDs represent just a small fraction of the corruption problem at the Midlands PMD's office. Allegedly, the entire PMD's office is tainted by corruption, and those who refuse to pay bribes suffer significant harm. Their applications experience prolonged delays. In certain cases, valuable mining claims are appropriated and allocated to those who offer bribes. Furthermore, registered peggers pay bribes to expedite the processing of their clients' applications."

ACT-SA further accuses the Midlands mining office of issuing counterfeit mining licenses, coordinates, and supporting documents. "Documents are sometimes intentionally lost or misplaced to penalize those who refuse to pay bribes. Additionally, the PMD's office predominantly serves the interests of the political elite who have amassed extensive mining claims for speculative purposes, to the detriment of genuine miners who would have put them to productive use," alleges the report.

ACT-SA calls upon the Minister of Mines to take action to cleanse the ministry and restore integrity to its operations.

Efforts to obtain a comment from Mines Minister Zhemu Soda proved futile, as his mobile phone remained unanswered since last Friday.

Source - southern eye