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Police chief's interests in gold mine raise stink

by Staff reporter
18 Feb 2024 at 09:20hrs | Views
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner-General, Godwin Matanga, has been accused of using his influence to deploy members of the support unit (SU) to guard a gold mine in Midlands where he allegedly has interests.

Sources said Matanga has links to Parkgate mine situated about 30kilometres from Kwekwe off the Kwekwe-Zhombe road.

The mine was owned by the late Guy Georgious.

It is now under his surviving spouse Mrs Georgious and tributed to one Moses Chako, an associate of Matanga.

A tribute is an agreement with a mine to give mining rights that allow an individual or an entity to mine on their own.

Investigations revealed that armed members of the ZRP's SU take turns day and night guarding the mine.

Senior police officers said the deployments were questionable and unprocedural.

Investigations by Standard People revealed that at least five armed members of the SU are always stationed at the mine at any given time.

The ZRPs SU is an operational province,which plays a pivotal role in supporting other police provinces in fighting crime.

Sources said the deployments of members of the SU members began last year with promises that they will receive extra allowances.

 "The arrangement was that they were to get allowances similar to those given to those on VIP duties, but nothing has come," a source close to the matter said.

"Instead, they are still getting the same salaries like their peers despite the extra duties and they are not happy."

Sources said the officers are also not getting any extra incentives from the mine despite the meals given to other general workers.

Matanga when contacted for comment yesterday on the deployments of SU members to guard a mine he is alleged to have interests in said he will investigate the matter.

"I am out of the office, but I will have to check with the officers on the ground," Matanga said.

When Standard People asked him about his interests in the mine, he said: "Currently, I am more involved in farming than mining. However, I will check on the SU deployments."

Sources, however, said Matanga was not a first time visitor to the mine.

In August last year, four workers Claudius Chakwesha, Tawanda Rusere, Dzingai Masuku and Fanuel Kikini were arrested on charges of stealing two gold nuggets at the mine and purchased vehicles from the proceeds.

The vehicles were impounded as exhibits, but the courts refused to prosecute because of lack of evidence after it emerged that they bought the cars way before the alleged theft.

However, the matter was resolved in an out of court agreement where the quartet was directed to pay US$6000, the alleged value of the lost gold nuggets, to recover their vehicles.

Matanga was named acting commissioner-general after long-serving ZRP Commissioner-General Augustne Chihuri retired in December 2017.

He was made substantive commissioner-general in February 2018.

Matanga, who had been deputy commissioner-deneral since 1992, was in 2020 accused of being involved in a raft of corrupt activities including inflating prices of police vehicles.

The allegations were raised in a letter by then independent Norton MP Temba Mliswa to former Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission chairperson, Loice Matanda-Moyo.

Mliswa accused Matanga of unprocedurally purchasing 80 police vehicles from Croco Motors without going through tender procedures.

Reports emerged in 2021 that investigations into the matter stalled because of failure of a key state witness, former Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe chief executive officer Nyasha Chizu, to access vital information after he was removed from office.

In February 2021, UK government imposed sanctions on Matanga for what was termed gross human rights violations alongside then state security minister Owen Ncube, intelligence director Isaac Moyo and army commander Anselem Sanyatwe.

Source - the standard
More on: #Police, #Gold, #Mine