THE Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF) has written to the police asking for help to restore order in the artisanal gold mining sector, where the yellow metal is being illicitly traded, thereby depriving the government of billions of dollars in revenue annually.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
In a letter dated April 5, 2018 and addressed to Police Commissioner-General, Godwin Matanga, ZMF chief executive officer, Wellington Takavarasha said the government was losing billions of dollars in revenue through illegal gold miners.
He asked the police to intervene and restore order in the sector.
“The country has witnessed brisk artisanal gold mining operations, where many gold rushes have erupted. Unfortunately, the gold being recovered is illicitly traded and not remitted to Fidelity Printers and Refiners. Thus, the government is losing billions of revenues,” Takavarasha said.
“This could have been attributed to arrests of these illegal miners. With the advent of the new dispensation, artisanal miners are no longer arrested if they remit or are seen to be channelling the gold they recover to FPR.”
He said they had witnessed record-high rampant artisanal mining activities in Vhovha area in Gwanda, Kitsiyatota in Bindura, Valley (Karoi), Taka Forest (Chimanimani), Urtna (Kadoma), Umsasa (Mazowe), Rwenya River (Mudzi, Nyamande), Mukaradzi River (Mt Darwin), Mpoengs (Plumtree), Venice (Kadoma) and the latest being Arcturus on sporadic occasions.
“We anticipate that if these miners are organised properly, there is a huge potential to recover +/- 5 kilogrammes per day,” Takavarasha said.
He said the situation also needed a holistic approach from government’s line departments.
“We request police details from the Police Reaction Group (PRG) to be armed and assist to restore order in the following manner: All interested parties to be registered in syndicates. Point to note, (there should be) no room for individuals or one-man band,” he said.
“Each syndicate to be allowed to operate for 20 minutes, (and) on a 24-hour clock, it, therefore, means 120 syndicates will operate per day. Anticipated recovery is 5kg per day.”
The letter was also copied to Mines and Mining Development minister Winston Chitando and his Home Affairs counterpart Obert Mpofu, among other government departments.