Mines Minister Winston Chitando has announced plans to plug massive gold leakages in the aftermath of jaw-dropping revelations by global broadcaster Al Jazeera in its Gold Mafia investigative report a month ago.
According to Al Jazeera’s four-part series, gold worth hundreds of millions in US dollars is being smuggled out of Zimbabwe by well-knit criminals in collusion with state officials at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), government mint Fidelity Printers and Refinery (FPR) and airport employees.
Senior players in government and mining, chief among them President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Special Envoy Uebert Angel were secretly recorded willingly dishing out information on how they launder money and smuggle gold out of the already dry economy.
Chitando, under whose watch the gold has been smuggled told a Gold Mobilisation seminar in Harare, government is set to enhance security in gold production and sale.
“We are going to put stern measures so as to plug leakages. So far, our teams will scrutinise output for every gold producer and all the metallurgical records and make sure that all gold produced is channelled officially,” said Chitando.
According to FPR 17 teams have already been deployed across the country for the exercise.
Gold producers including Zanu PF parliamentary candidate for Mabvuku Scott Sakupwanya, Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) President Henrietta Rushwaya, shadowy businessmen Ewan Macmillan and Simon Rudland were some of those fingered in the illicit act.
None of the actors have been arrested.