Mines ministry secretary accused of circumventing ban on granite exports

Favouritism ... Mines secretary Pfungwa Kunaka is accused of issuing one company a waiver to continue the export of raw granite, while shutting out others
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HARARE – The mines ministry is failing to implement a ban on raw granite exports, ZimLive understands, and the ministry’s permanent secretary is now under fire for issuing out waivers to circumvent regulations.

Pfungwa Kunaka is accused of issuing a company called Inducon with a six-month waiver to continue the raw export of granite – two years after a government ban to encourage local beneficiation.

In contrast, four other companies – Rich Mark, Southern Granite, Quarrying Enterprises and Natural Stone – were denied the waiver and advised to seek cabinet approval.

Kunaka’s actions appear to be in direct violation of Statutory Instrument 127 of 2022 which states that permission to export raw granite can only be granted after the presentation of a value addition plan and the establishment of a contract with Minerals Marketing Company of Zimbabwe.

The SI specifies that the stipulated waiver period should be limited to three months, making Inducon’s current six-month waiver blatantly unlawful.

ZimLive understands that Inducon’s preferential treatment came after a closed meeting with Kunaka.

Applications for waivers by other miners including Quarrying Enterprises, Ilford Investments, Legacy, and Xeona Granite remain unprocessed, according to sources.

This special treatment of Inducon also contradicts the minister of mines’ statements in December 2023 when he emphasised the need to enforce the SI banning the raw exportation of granite.

A source within the ministry of mines, who prefers to remain anonymous, raised concerns about Inducon’s favourable treatment, saying it had caused discontent among other granite miners.

“Granite exporters are questioning why Inducon Investments was granted a six-month waiver to export raw granite while the ban on raw granite exportation was put in place in 2022,” the source said.

“The only exceptions for exportation were supposed to be based on the production of a value addition plan and a contract with MMCZ, with a waiver period limited to three months.”

The source has labelled this situation as “abuse of office and corruption.”

Questions left for Kunaka had not been answered.

Source: ZimLive