There was drama at Midlands Mines and Mining Development provincial headquarters after a group of miners besieged the provincial mining director’s office and held him hostage until around midnight, accusing his office of bungling the issuance of mining certificates in a case of suspected corruption.
The ZBC News crew was tipped of the ensuing drama at around 10.pm only to find the Provincial Mining Director (PMD) Mr Nelson Munyanduri locked in a heated debate with some members of AGKK mining syndicate who were demanding a mining licence for Gennaroack Farm after initially being issued with a prospector’s licence for the same property despite the fact that the mine is already occupied.
It only took the intervention of law enforcement agents for the Mr Munyanduri to be let go after hours of heated debate over the mining licence saga.
Although Mr Munyanduri refused to speak to ZBC News, reliable sources say some unscrupulous officials in his office had facilitated the issuance of a prospector’s licence for the AGKK syndicate with a promise of a mining licence later which never materialised, prompting the team to confront Mr Munyanduri.
Asked on why they were demanding a mining licence at a place already claimed by a different syndicate, a representative of AGKK dismissed licence granted to Tilfury Zimbabwe Limited as fake, further exposing the ministry’s mines department.
However, ZBC News has it on good authority that Tilfury Zimbabwe Limited was granted a mining licence registered with the ministry in 2012 and an attempt to stop their mining operations by the Provincial Mining Director through a letter dated 19 July 2019 was withdrawn four days later by the same office after realisation of anomalies.
Tilfury Zimbabwe Limited Director, Mr Fungai Bangidza castigated what he termed corrupt activities within the mining department.
“Today they bring this paper instructing us to stop operations and tomorrow they say resume after realising their dirty hands. President Mnangagwa has spoken strongly against corruption and I wonder how this is happening. I have been here since 2011 and have got my license and how does someone with a prospector’s license get precedence over the one with a mining license,” said MrBangidza.
Cases of double allocation of mining licences have created conflict within the mining sector, amid calls for the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate and put an end to such activities if sanity is to prevail in the sector.