Police, National Parks Fingered In Gold Bribe Scam In Hurungwe

By Criswell Chisango
HURUNGWE- Junior police officers and National Parks officials are
fingered in yet another bribe scam as illegal gold mining intensifies
in Hurungwe where government and Zanu (PF) members were implicated in a
looting spree following a gold rush since last year.
Sources claim that the police officers are demanding $100.00 as
entrance fee in the animal infested area and later get $50.00 for a
bag of sand with alluvial gold.
The area at the centre of controversy is under Chief Kazangarare where
gold was discovered in December 2013 and it lay within remote Mukanga
Game Park in Chewore basin within the Zambezi valley connecting
Hurungwe and Guruve.
It is situated about 70 kilometers north-west of Karoi where police
and the army barricaded it as a ‘’security zone’’.
Due to the poor road network, the panners are using Marongora road
that stretches to 300 kilometers before reconnecting to Chewore north
that covers Mukanga bordering Chief Kazangarare communal area.
“There are a lot of people coming from Kadoma, Shurugwi, Chiredzi,
Mutare and Harare among other areas while some cars have foreign
number plates’’ said Dickson Mabheka of Nhiti area.
However, former Mashonaland West provincial chairman Temba Mliswa
blamed officials from the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate
for “propping up the rot” and high level of corruption in mining
sector in January this year.
“It is a scandal that the party and Government must stop as mines
ministry officials issued six permits to prospecting companies for
alluvial gold being sold straight to Fidelity Printers. Senior
officials are involved in this open scam of gold looting at the
expense of aiding government economy. There is high level of
corruption that must be exposed and stopped at all costs,” said Mliswa
then.
Both ministers Savior Kasukuwere and Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa
could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.
This has formed yet another chapter of alleged illegal mining by security
officers and traditional leaders as happened in the diamonds fields of
Chiadzwa in Manicaland province.
“We used to see top army officers including brigadiers, colonels as
well as senior police officers deployed there but now junior officers
are demanding bribes from illegal miners’’ added another gold dealers
from Kadoma but now a resident in Karoi where he has since bought a
house and two taxis in the farming town.
A driver hired during the illegal errand said, ‘’It is true but it is
not safe as some gun shots can be heard as the groups may be trying to
scare you away. It is a lefe shattering experience’’ said the drive
speaking on condition he is not named.
However Mashonaland West police spokesperson Inspector Clemence
Mabgweazara refused to comment on the issue saying he was still to get
any thing official.
‘’I cannot comment on anything about that as I have not heard about it
I am sorry’’,  Mabgweazara.
There is high level of corruption within the agriculture, mining
sectors as Zimbabweans languish in poverty besides abundance of world
class minerals including diamonds, gold among others.