A traditional leader in Manicaland has expressed concern that President Emmerson Mnangagwa is being misled by dishonest individuals who are profiting from the country’s natural resources.
The leader believes that this situation has resulted in a significant loss of revenue from mineral sales.
During a workshop on decentralisation, organized by the Centre for Research for Peace and Development in Africa, in collaboration with the Centre for Natural Resource Governance, Chief James Mutasa spoke passionately about the presence of corrupt elements within the mining sector who surround the President and provide him with false information.
These individuals are exploiting their positions to enrich themselves at the expense of the nation.
“I am not against any mining activities in Zimbabwe at all. Mutasa district has large gold deposits, but, to my surprise so many miners are mining in the area and they take away the gold. It pains me that the people from Mutasa are not benefiting at all from their gold,” he said.
“You come and take the gold and build mansions in Harare. You drive beautiful and expensive cars all the way, but you have forgotten the people from Mutasa.”
“I have poor families in my area and why can’t you build them houses through corporate social responsibility programmes? People from Mutasa have nothing to show and they honestly deserve this benefaction,” the chief said.
“Most of those gold claims are owned by people who are not from Mutasa, why? The mining in Mutasa is being controlled by people who are not from Mutasa and they are taking the riches away from us.”
He expressed disappointment over how he and his subjects have been treated in terms of mineral revenue benefaction, he added:
“I am the custodian of the land; I know everything happening on the ground. There are some people who have engaged the Chinese to do the mining while my people with the potential of mining are denied the opportunity because of corruption within the system.
“I report direct to the President and these are some of the things that I am going to highlight to him. The mining processes are fraught with irregularities. We need proper corporate social responsibility in the community so that everyone benefits.”
He urged miners in Mutasa district to form Mutasa Miners Association to tackle issues affecting them.
The meeting was attended by small-scale miners, community-based organisations operating in mining areas, other stakeholders and the media.