Cops ‘loot’ gold ore from mines

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pa­trick Chi­tumba Mid­lands Bu­reau Chief

A CABI­NET Min­is­ter has blasted the po­lice in the Mid­lands prov­ince for al­legedly loot­ing gold ore from mines, forc­ing their way into min­ing op­er­a­tions as well as tak­ing ad­van­tage of gold rushes to loot the precious stone.

Re­spond­ing to an out­cry from vil­lagers in Silo­bela who ac­cuse the po­lice of tak­ing sides in gold wars for kick­backs and chas­ing away gold pan­ners in case of gold rushes, Min­is­ter of Mines and Min­ing Devel­op­ment, Wal­ter Chid­hakwa, said strong de­ci­sions would be made against cor­rupt po­lice of­fi­cers.

Speak­ing dur­ing a min­is­te­rial visit to Peace Mine Tur­tle 54 in Silo­bela on Fri­day, Min­is­ter Chid­hakwa said to­gether with the Min­is­ter of Home Af­fairs, Ig­natius Chombo they had re­ceived re­ports of po­lice al­legedly en­gag­ing in cor­rupt min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in the prov­ince.

Min­is­ter Chid­hakwa said he was pained that the po­lice were cor­rupt when they should be tak­ing the lead­ing role in see­ing to it that pro­ce­dure is fol­lowed so that the Gov­ern­ment ben­e­fits from the min­eral re­sources in the prov­ince.

“I’m pained that we hear that the po­lice are cor­rupt, that they are tak­ing sides for kick­backs, at times min­ing il­le­gally. They are tak­ing ore from mines. We will ex­pose you, we are watch­ing you. We worked well with the po­lice in Marange di­a­mond fields and or­der was re­stored and we should be do­ing the same here,” he charged.

“You (po­lice) are the key in this whole thing. You are the cus­to­di­ans of the law but you are tak­ing sides. We worked well in Marange, we took de­ci­sions, hard de­ci­sions and we will take de­ci­sions here.”

Min­is­ter Chid­hakwa said he had spo­ken to the Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral of Po­lice, Dr Au­gus­tine Chi­huri with re­gard to the al­leged cor­rupt ac­tiv­i­ties by the po­lice es­pe­cially in Silo­bela area.

“We want peace here, the chil­dren and moth­ers must have con­fi­dence in the po­lice force, and we don’t want in­dis­ci­pline. I spoke to Cde Chi­huri, we know what is hap­pen­ing, we have great re­spect for the po­lice force, we have had good ex­pe­ri­ences in Marange where you ex­em­pli­fied and the world knows what a great po­lice force we have. That re­spect should also come here in Silo­bela, if you are not right, we will re­move you, and we are tak­ing com­mand,” he said.

Silo­bela vil­lagers led by their four chiefs; Ruya, Govo, Mal­isa and Sigodo raised con­cerns about the con­duct by some rogue po­lice of­fi­cers.

The min­is­te­rial del­e­ga­tion led by Min­is­ter Chid­hakwa had gone to Peace Mine to bring nor­malcy af­ter the clo­sure of the mine in Fe­bru­ary.

The com­mu­nity de­manded the ouster of the then chair­per­son Mr Arthur Nki­wane who was ac­cused of work­ing with the po­lice to loot gold at the ex­pense of the com­mu­nity.

Other mem­bers of the del­e­ga­tion were the Min­is­ter of Small to Medium En­ter­prises and Co­op­er­a­tive Devel­op­ment, Sithembiso Ny­oni, Home Af­fairs Deputy Min­is­ter Obe­d­ingwa Mguni and Min­is­ter Chid­hakwa’s deputy, Fred Moyo.

Mr Nki­wane has since been booted out with the Gov­ern­ment hand­ing over the mine to the com­mu­nity.

Ef­forts to get a com­ment from na­tional po­lice spokesper­son Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Char­ity Charamba were fruit­less as her mo­bile phone was not reach­able. — @pchi­tumba1

Min­is­ter Wal­ter Chid­hakwa

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.