ZANU-PF chefs, Mines ministry bosses grab lucrative Silobela gold mine
SILOBELA – The Affirmative Action Group (AAG) has intervened in a mine ownership wrangle after senior Zanu PF officials and officials from the Mines ministry attempted to wrestle a gold mine from Chief Sigodo in Silobela.
The officials include Silobela Zanu PF legislator Mthokozisi Manoki Mpofu, Nelson Munyanguri, Midlands provincial mining director Ernest Mgandani, a mines ministry worker one Manhayi, a coordinator in charge of minerals and border control Jacquiline Munyonga, legal director at the ministry of Mines Apollo Mhlophe and Sibusisiwe Moyo, sister to former Mines deputy minister Fred Moyo.
The takeover of Peace Mine started during the reign of deposed president Robert Mugabe, after Sigodo was accused of being a member of the Team Lacoste faction in the ruling Zanu PF.
As a result, Sigodo approached the courts over the matter and eventually won the case. The “intruders” were ordered off the mine by High court judge Nokuthula Moyo on August 23.
However, the illegal occupants resisted the order, forcing Sigodo — through his lawyer Dumisani Dube of Mathonsi Ncube Attorneys — to file contempt of court proceedings against the ministry of Mines permanent secretary and the provincial mining director. The application is still pending at the High Court.
In a new twist to the dispute, the AAG has now waded into the wrangle, taking a position to defend Sigodo.
A letter penned by AAG principal officer Denzel Sita to provincial mining director Munyanguri, and copied to the chief secretary to the President and Cabinet, Mines ministry, the minister for Provincial Affairs, and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said: “We write to you flabbergasted by your contemptuous disregard of a lawful court order including your cabal of friends, Munyanguri, Munyonga and Mgandani.
“This therefore, confirms your involvement in the illicit mining activities and the criminal externalisation of gold extracted from Peace Mine in the last three years.”
AAG said it was aware that Mgandani, Manhayi, Munyonga, Manoki Mpofu and Urayayi Marima had illegally mined over 40kg of gold and externalising it without declaring it to Fidelity Printers — the sole buyer of all gold produced in Zimbabwe, irrespective of its origin.
“Your involvement in these dealings is a slur to the office you bear and disgrace to the civil service you purport to represent.
“Your total disregard of a court order and continued criminal behaviour begs the attention of the President’s Office, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the Zimbabwe Republic Police,” Sita said.
AAG gave the mines ministry a 24-hour ultimatum to address the matter or face litigation.
“We therefore give you 24 hours to redress according to the court order or face the full wrath of justice as we take all measures within our arsenal to remove you and all vermin from Peace Mine. Forewarned is forearmed. It is prudent of you to advise your cabal accordingly.”