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Top mines official arrested for abuse of office

by Staff reporter
11 Oct 2022 at 06:02hrs | Views
MASHONALAND West acting provincial mining director Sibongile Mpindiwa has been arrested for allegedly unlawfully forfeiting mining claims, changing ownership and then handing them over to other people.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission crack team swooped on Mpindiwa yesterday and she is expected to appear at Chinhoyi Magistrates' Court today facing four counts of criminal abuse of office.

ZACC spokesperson Commissioner John Makamure last night confirmed the arrest of Mpindiwa, who was being held in police custody at Chinhoyi Police station.

It is alleged that on February 22 2019, Mpindiwa, being the acting provincial mining director for Mashonaland West, issued a mining certificate to Frank Siyankuni for Ruvengo 13A and 13B on Stockdale Farm Chegutu.

The mining claims belong to Dallaglio Private Limited which was issued a mining certificate for the same mining area in 2005 and this certificate was never cancelled.

According to the charge sheet, Mpindiwa allegedly contravened the Mines and Minerals Act, which deals with the registration of mining blocks and requires that all due procedures must be followed before rejecting claims or signing certificates.

In addition to this, Mpindiwa allegedly acted contrary what was expected of a provincial mining director whose duties include supervising support staff at provincial level, overseeing ministry policies, and co-ordinating and maintaining best practices in the province.

Her actions were in apparent show of favour to Siyankuni and disfavour to Dallaglio Private Limited, said ZACC.

On the second count, it is alleged that on June 5 2019, Mpindiwa forfeited Victory 286 Bright Mine Syndicate of Verbluden of Dunphaile Farm registration number 41092 which belonged to Correct Dube.

The following year, on September 25 2020, Mpindiwa revoked the same mine from forfeiture and issued it back to Correct Dube. By so doing, Mpindiwa allegedly acted contrary to her duty by showing favour to Correct Dube at the expense of Micah Mashiri and other individuals on the waiting list.

Her actions were allegedly in breach of the Mines and Minerals Act which clearly states that revocation of such mines should be done within 21 days from date of forfeiture. In the case in question, revocation was done after 15 months, according to ZACC.

On the third count it is being alleged that in February 2021, Mpindiwa issued someone identified only as Kwaramba with a prospecting licence to mine at Strathmore Farm which is located in Banket.

The farm is allegedly reserved for the mining promotion corporation, a Government exploration company under EPO 07/2019 but the blocks for Kwaramba are situated right under that exclusive prospecting order.

In this case, Mpindiwa again acted illegally. According to ZACC, she should have rejected the application for a

prospecting license since the area in question was under EPO 07/2019.

On the last count, Mpindiwa is alleged to have revoked Zurich Mine's registration number 268 and 269 under revocation invoice number 063213B on June 4 2021. Zurich Mine had been issued its certificates on September 11 2006 and these were forfeited in September 2011.

Mpindiwa allegedly revoked Zurich Mine's two registrations 10 years later after Zurich had forfeited the mine. She is being accused of acting contrary to her duty by showing favour to Hardwork Berah, who received the new licences, and disfavour to Athanas Ranjeni and other applicants on the waiting list.

By so doing she contravened the Mines and Mineral Act which requires that such revocation can only be done within 21 days from the date of forfeiture.

Source - The Herald