Govt urged to plug gold leakages


Harare (New Ziana)-Zimbabwe can curb mineral leakages through cultivating a sense of responsibility among citizens to safeguard its mineral wealth in order to achieve sustainable development.

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services said this in a report on the security of minerals which was released following an inquiry into the mining of precious minerals in 2022.

“Indeed, safeguarding minerals is not for law enforcement agencies alone; rather, it is everyone’s responsibility,” it said.

“State institutions, private entities, civil society organisations and the general public have the responsibility to jealously guard the country’s mineral wealth. A whole-of-society approach on plugging mineral leakages is critical now than ever before in order to promote sustainable development, peace and security.”

The committee also urged the government to increase monitoring of the gold mining sector to prevent leakages which are bleeding the economy.

It said the country’s porous borderline remains a major cause for concern as it provides easy pathways for mineral leakages, particularly gold and diamonds, which can easily be smuggled out through undesignated exit points, adding officials at ports of entry have limited knowledge of the characteristics of minerals such as gold and diamonds.

“Smuggling was rife at these points and was a source of gold leakages among other commodities. The law enforcement agencies, which include the ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) and Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), were unable to control these illegal crossing points because they do not have vehicles and the roads are impassible. In addition, there was no network coverage in these border lying areas, which made it difficult for law enforcement authorities to coordinate their efforts effectively along the border,” it said.

The country’s sole gold buyer, Fidelity Gold Refiners should also increase its presence at gold mining sites to enhance transparency and accountability.

“The Committee could not rule out the possibility of under declaration of gold because there were no government officials at any of the privately owned gold mines in the country to verify or monitor production statistics at the source. It was observed that the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development receives and accepts production statistics sent by gold mining companies in good faith,” it said.

Another source of gold leakages was at mining companies that have ownership wrangles, with a case in point being Redwing Mine in Penhalonga which experienced an influx of illegal miners following a prolonged ownership wrangle,” the committee said.

New Ziana

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