NEWLY-appointed Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa has called for transparency in the mining sector presently plagued by allegations of rampant corruption, imploring players in the sector.
Addressing captains of industry at the ongoing 2013 Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) annual congress which opened in Bulawayo on Wednesday, Chidhakwa called for the total eradication of corruption in the mining sector.
“I have called the mining commissioners and warned them about being involved in corrupt deals and l told them to stop forthwith because there is no individual more important than Zimbabwe,” the minister said to the delight of delegates gathered for the indaba of the country’s captains of industry.
He said while the country has abundant mineral resources, Zimbabwe was not producing finished products of its minerals.
He called on players in the sector to move towards beneficiation of products.
Chidhakwa said the mining sector should establish diamond and gold parks so that they start producing finished products.
He also said they should be an urgent fundamental paradigm shift in the mining sector.
“Zimbabwe has diamonds and gold and we have more than 130 000 claim holders and only 800 mines are producing. It is high time we digitalise the mining system and eradicate corruption,” he added.
He said Zimbabwe should do away with the colonial system of exporting raw material as this resulted in developed nations ending up determining the market price and developing further at the expense of the owners of raw-materials — most of which continued wallowing in poverty.
“We have to reverse the colonial system, come up with a diamond park where diamonds are cut, polished and cleaned. “We should have a gold park in Bulawayo where gold is processed and we determine our market price,” Chidhakwa said.
He said all the “hidden” powers that were invested on certain individuals to mine at river banks should cease with immediate effect.
“We have instructed all permanent secretaries to monitor and stop all the mining activities at the river banks because we cannot have gold at the expense of water and have thousands of people suffer because of a fewer individuals,” he said.
Those hidden powers have to cease with immediate effect because people are suffering at the expense of special mining grants.”