Parliament’s Mines Portfolio Committee on Monday raised concerns over reports of rampant smuggling of gold from Zimbabwean mines to South Africa and the Middle East.
The committee is in Kariba where it is discussing the gold production chain with officials from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and other stakeholders.
Committee chairperson Edmund Mkaratigwa, who is MP for Shurugwi South (ZANU PF), said:
We have heard that several gold mines have been reopened, while others are expanding their operations.
However, there are disturbing reports of gold smuggling, which finds its way to the Rand Refinery in South Africa, Dubai, the Middle East and other places around the globe.
Right now the governor of the Reserve Bank (of Zimbabwe (RBZ) John Mangudya) has introduced gold coins and there are so many questions regarding how these will transform our economy for the better.
As a country, we need a sustainable model to export our gold as we need foreign currency to meet the needs of our economy.
Mkaratigwa stressed that the Gold Trade Act should be fine-tuned to eliminate its inadequacies so that citizens benefit fully from the country’s mineral resources.
He also suggested that the RBZ or Fidelity Printers and Refiners must set up a specific fund to support the activities of women in mining.
Speaking at the same event, Mines deputy minister Polite Kambamura said the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill will be brought before Parliament in two months. He said:
The Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill will be a game-changer in the country as it will treat both miners and farmers equally in the utilisation of the land and extraction of minerals.
The Bill will touch on the relationship between farmers’ and miners’ rights to land.
Chamber of Mines Zimbabwe chief executive officer Isaac Kwesu said the government should allow gold producers to export their gold and use the funds to raise capital. He added:
Most gold producers continue to face power outages, which result in production stoppages and output losses.