Artisanal miners demand forfeited claims Former miners’ boss reclaims mine
ARTISANAL miners in Matabeleland South whose claims were forfeited to the State recently are accusing some “big wigs” of manipulating authority to strip them of their resources.
More than 2 000 mining claims in Gwanda district were forfeited to the State after claim holders failed to pay taxes. Small scale-miners are required to pay an annual levy of $100 — also known as a certificate of inspection.
However, miners who participated at a hearing of the proposed Mines and Mining Development Amendment Bill of 2016 by the Parliamentary Portfolio on Mines and Mining Development and Energy and Power Development on Tuesday said the claims were wrongfully forfeited.
Former Gwanda Mayor Mr Rido Mpofu who is also into mining said the claims should be returned with immediate effect as he warned of fights between the old owners and those who would come to take up the claims.
“What are we here to discuss when all the artisanal miners in Gwanda have their claims forfeited? It is unheard of. Those claims should be returned with immediate effect. This is torture to people who are already failing to pay the $100 [that is] needed. They will be a fight if this issue is not resolved carefully,” he said.
Mrs Deliwe Moyo from Esigodini said the mining fees were too high for artisanal miners.
“The ministry should not treat small miners like big mines. There should be differentiation between us and those big mines like Blanket and Vumbachikwe.
“It is not fair for the ministry to forfeit these claims,” said Mrs Moyo.
Alderman Petros Mukwena said mining claims should be equally distributed to all people in the province and not to FORMER president of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation, Mr Trynos Nkomo has reclaimed ownership of Bunny’s Mine 2 in West Nicholson after the High Court in Bulawayo granted him an interim relief against Sifanjani Moyo who had invaded it.
Mr Nkomo pegged the claim on August 3 after which Ministry of Mines and Mining Development officials inspected it. The Government formally allocated him the 10 hectare mining claim on September 9, registration number GA6665. However, Moyo invaded the claim and seized 760 grammes of gold ore, prompting Mr Nkomo to approach the High Court. Justice Martin Makonese granted the interim relief on September 16.
In papers at the High Court filed by Mr Nkomo’s lawyers Ncube and Partners Legal Practitioners, Moyo is cited as the first respondent, Matabeleland South Principal Mining Director, the officer in charge CID Minerals section and the officer in charge of police at West Nicholson are the second, third and fourth respondents respectively.
have “big wigs” coming to grab all for speculative reasons.
“The Bill should allow artisanal miners to graduate to be miners by providing support. The background of this country is from a socialist disposition where we should share the resources equally. Let us not have big wigs coming from Harare and Bulawayo and grab all mining claims here,” fumed Ald Mukwena.
Moyo, his agents, nominees or employees were interdicted from going within 500metres of the mine. He, together with the third and fourth respondents were also ordered to release the ore to Mr Nkomo.
“Moyo left the mine today (yesterday) in accordance with the interim order of September 16,” said Mr Nkomo yesterday.
“I have taken ownership of the mine which has created employment for 46 people including seven who are qualified in mining. Moyo does not have papers to lodge a claim to the mine, absolutely nothing.
“He was just trying to use force to remove me from the mine. I welcome the court order. So the disturbances have ended and we are in the process of engaging a company to do the fencing of the mine for security purposes. I have a record of selling gold to Fidelity Printers, contributing to national economic development. I believe that Bunny’s Luck Mine 2 will create more jobs and help in developing the surrounding area. I must say that this would be possible because we have a government that supports black involvement in an industry that was dominated by whites before 1980. President (Robert) Mugabe and Zanu-PF want us to succeed.”
He would not name the “big wigs”. Uzumba legislator, Simbaneuta Mudarikwa chaired the meeting.
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has said in a public notice that reversal of forfeiture was dependent on the payment of a “revocation fee.”
Most of the forfeited claims are gold claims.