WAR veterans in Shurugwi have clashed with some Chinese over gold claims after the Asians evicted four former liberation fighters from some claims alleging that they had bought them from a foreign businessman Francis Bester.
The Chinese, who operate a company, Jin Yang Africa (Pvt) Ltd, reportedly bought over 140 claims at Bonza Gold Mine claims in Shurugwi for $835 000 from Bester.
Bester used to rope in the local community at the gold claims before selling them to the Chinese. Documents in possession of Southern Eye indicate that a meeting between the Chinese company and war veterans was held on February 4 this year at the district administrator (DA)’s office in Shurugwi in an attempt to resolve the dispute.
Shurugwi DA Joram Chimedza, representaives of Jin Yang Africa, MECA syndicate (a group of war veterans), local leaders and officials from the President’s Office attended the meeting.
It was indicated at the meeting that the Chinese should partner the war vets in line with the country’s indigenisation and empowerment laws.
“It was highlighted that the Chinese company must give 51% shares of the company to MECA syndicate,” part of the minutes of the meeting read. “The Civil Service Commission told the Chinese company that if they are investors, they have to follow the government policies and the 51% should go to MECA syndicate, which was on the ground. These war veterans have children to feed and look after,” the minutes further read.
It was resolved that the MECA syndicate should continue working at the claims until the matter is finalised. Bester was also advised to surrender all claims he was not working on.
Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation spokesperson, Dosman Mangisi confirmed that the meeting took place and called for an urgent resolution.