HARARE -The Secretary in the Ministry of Mines Onesimo Mazai Moyo has been accused of fraudulently giving out mine claim certificates without following due procedures further worsening violence in the mining towns of Zimbabwe, TSTNews can report.
By Taurai Bvuma
In an investigation carried out by TSTNews over the past weeks in Mazowe and Midlands, it was established that Moyo was abusing his office by granting mine certificates to mines that are already occupied by other individuals.
“We were operating our mine since 2013 until someone came saying that they were now taking over our claim since they had been granted a mine certificate by the ministry of mines,” said Tinarwo Mupuka a small scale miner who lost his mine in 2019.
Mupuka further said he tried to check on the authenticity of the said certificate at the Midlands Provincial office but it was not available.
He further told TSTNews that the Provincial Mining Director was unaware of a mine claim application from the said individual.
The mine certificate was registered in the Harare office and papers indicated that applications had been done via the Harare offices instead of the provincial office were it is normally done.
Mupuka further told TSTNews that he lost all his investments that he had invested and court applications were not fruitful as his mining certificate had disappeared together with court records of his existence at the mine claim.
Mupuka is not the only victim who has suffered under the corrupt hands of Moyo and other mines ministry officials.
TSTNews has also met another victim who said Moyo was making the lives of many miners miserable as he was in the habit of cancelling their mining certificates in favour of some politically connected individuals.
“Mashurugwi invaded our mine in Mazowe Mashonaland East and the police were deployed but when Mashurugwi were overpowered we were surprised to hear that we were illegal occupants and someone was the owner of the claim,” the victim told TSTNews.
A letter seen by TSTNews shows that the secretary of mines wrote a letter to the Harare Police Flora and Fauna Department to stop operations at the mine although a court order had declared the victim as the rightful owner of the mine.
The victims said the secretary and other officials at the ministry were currently using the police and courts to illegally displace them.
TSTNews is in possession of several court cases which are before the Bulawayo and Harare High Courts were the Ministry of Mines is being accused of fraudulently double allocating mine certificates.