War vets besiege mining commissioner’s offices

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BUSINESS at the mining commissioner’s offices in Mutare ground to a halt last Friday after a group of suspected war veterans besieged the offices accusing top officials of engaging in corrupt activities and failing to approve their gold-mining initiative in Nyanga.

OBEY MANAYITI

The group, which identified itself as Magamba Mining Syndicate, placed some notices at the Mines offices at Embassy Building advising that the offices would remain closed until their grievances were addressed.

“We were given a mining claim by Quagga Mining Syndicate through a tribute agreement in 2012 to mine gold in Matiza community lands in Chirenje Mountains in Nyanga,” a member of the group who declined to be named said.

“Since then we have failed to mine because of the illegal panners who are mining there. We have been coming here to have our matter resolved, but it’s now two years without action. This is a clear sign that those manning this office have failed, so the office should temporarily close until those responsible send someone competent.”

Contacted for comment yesterday, Assistant Mining Commissioner Leonard Chimusasa said he was yet to receive instructions from Harare on how to address the matter.

“I heard that they came, but for now I cannot comment because I still want to communicate with my superiors. By the time these [war vets] came I was not present as I was attending a meeting elsewhere,” Chimusasa said.

NewsDay is in possession of a letter that Chimusasa wrote on May 8 instructing police at Ruwange in Nyanga to ensure that the disputed land remained unoccupied until the ownership wrangle was resolved.

Part of the letter read: “Please be advised that this office has received a complaint via the mining commissioner, Harare, that there are people working in the disputed area, presumably members of Sachiwo Mining Syndicate.

“The dispute in question is now complicated in that it is now involving three groups of people, ie Sachiwo, Chirenje and Quagga (Magamba).”  The letter added: “However, due to the volatile situation in the area, I have been instructed to advise you to make sure that all the parties concerned cease operations on the disputed area forthwith, until you receive further communication from the ministry.”

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