TOP officials at the Mines ministry offices in Midlands province have been implicated in a bribery storm after they allegedly awarded a mining certificate to Vansburg Drumgold Enterprises ahead of its competitor, FGC Syndicate, which had first applied to extract gold at Dandrum Mine in Kwekwe.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
NewsDay has learnt that FGC Syndicate submitted its application on June 17 last year, which was rejected on July 15, while Vansburg applied on July 4 last year and eventually got its certificate on July 12 to start mining operations.
This prompted FCG Syndicate, represented by Finhai Munetsi, to petition provincial mines director, Malcolm Mazemo, to investigate the matter.
Munetsi claimed his company’s application was rejected on the grounds that the claim was at the centre of another ownership dispute, but queried why their competitor had been granted the certificate for the same claim after submitting its application a month later.
“Information and evidence we have suggests that money changed hands to facilitate acceptance of the registration notice from Vansburg Drumgold ahead of and at the expense of our notice,” Munetsi alleged.
“We have information that officials listed below (names withheld) were paid various amounts to facilitate the process . . . Some of the payments were made in cash, while others through accounts and we have a witness prepared to testify to these payments,” the letter, copied to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, reads.
“We have a complaint over the manner in which our notice for registration was rejected on July 15 and subsequent acceptance of the notice of registration by Vansburg Drumgold on July 28 on the same area.”
Mazemo, who signed acknowledgement of receipt of Munetsi’s letter of complainant, last week refused to comment on the matter, saying he was in a meeting.
Vansburg owner, Armstrong Mapanga, who reportedly bagged close to 80kg of gold from Dandrum Mine before the court ordered him to stop operations at the mine, also refused to comment on the graft allegations levelled against him.