Corruption hampering growth of mining sector, youths say

By ZBC Reporter
YOUTHS in Matabeleland South province say the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) should be given prosecution powers in order to expedite the handling of reported cases.
This came out during a youth mining indaba held in Gwanda this Wednesday. The alleged level of corruption in the mining sector has prompted young people from Gwanda and Umzingwane districts to engage the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) on issues affecting their operations.
Speaking during a meeting that was organised by the Community Youth Development Trust (CYDT) in the provincial capital on Wednesday, participants said the government’s vision to achieve a US$12 billion economy by 2023 will be impeded by corruption.
They believe that the anti-corruption watchdog, which has been doing a stellar job in investigating graft, should be given prosecuting powers.
“Right now, we have been seeing a catch and release situation which has affected our confidence in the justice delivery system. We want a situation where by ZACC is given the powers to prosecute because we really want to see those who are fingered corrupt bring brought to book.”
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development Deputy Provincial Mining Director, Khumbulani Mlangeni responded to issues raised by youths which include the double allocation of gold claims and concerns over Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPOs).
“Concerns are being raised that 95 percent of mining land is under EPOs. What I can say is that as a country, we should have done exploration but it was not done. Right now, we have granted applicants the right to do exploration and share their findings with government. So its exploration not exploitation,” he said.
A representative of ZACC, Dr Onesmus Nyaude said issues that were raised at the mining indaba will be submitted to the chairperson of the commission, adding that the watchdog is committed to bringing to book those engaged in corrupt activities.
“I also had an opportunity to meet youths in Esigodini who raised similar concerns. We are saying how can we achieve vision 2030 when the small scale gold mining sector which contributes significantly to the country’s GDP is being grossly affected by corruption.”
Apart from tackling corruption, formalising the mining sector, protecting small scale miners through legislation, implementing devolution and decentralising services are some of the solutions identified as key in growing the critical sector.