The youths who are spearheading the empowering of youth through the government indigenisation policy, under the group Masvingo Youths in Business Association (MYBA) lambasted Mpofu of being inconsiderate to the plight of young people who want to venture into the mining business.
Government through the mines ministry has hiked application fees from $150 000 to $500 000 dollars, an amount party youths say was a deliberate way by the party bigwigs to shut out youths who lack resources so that they benefit from the country’s mineral resources by themselves.
Speaking on the sidelines of the National Youth council business forum at the Civic Centre, Zanu (PF) youth deputy political Commissar and MYBA leader, Talent Majoni said the hike was beyond the reach of many youths.
“We are not happy with the hiking of mining licences and application fees. They are just astronomical and meant to keep us out of the mining business. We need a stake in the mining sector as this sector is also supposed to benefit us under the indigenisation programme,” he said.
Registration has been increased to $2, 5 million from $300 000, Ground rentals per annum shot up to $ 1 000 per hectare from $10 per five claims. Prospective diamond miners will have to part ways with a whooping $1 million dollars.
Tafara Mudukuti, another high ranking official of the youth group MYBA, an equivalent to Harare’s Upfumi Kuvadiki, said aspiring young miners will never realise their dreams in the sector because of the government’s provision.
“You see the rise is outrageous and where do you think aspiring young men and women in the mining industries will get those thousands and millions. This is just a deliberate way of sidelining the youths who are only used for politicians’ personal gains,” he said.
The group said they will take the responsible minister head on if he goes ahead with the discriminatory fees hike and called for audience with minister Mpofu.
“Mpofu and his other fat cats want to continue fattening while they use us youths as weapons of political violence. We need to be empowered in the mining sector and we call upon him to reverse his hikes before we do something as his party youths,” said Mudukuti.
Mpofu has been accused of amassing personal wealth from the country’s mines since he become the minister, particularly from the Marange diamonds but dismissed the allegations saying he obtained his wealth through hard work and accessing loans.
Recently the filthy rich Minister hosted a lavish, joint birthday and graduation party that attracted about 3000 guests
Meanwhile the MDC-T led Victoria Falls Town Council has called on the principals in the inclusive government to act on Mpofu who has already acquired 85 percent of properties in the resort town and evicting tenants.
Mpofu is said to have acquired half of the houses in low density suburb of the Victoria Falls known as (MaYard) and turn them into lodges. He has also reportedly acquired several shopping complexes, night clubs, and supermarkets among others in the town centre.
Victoria Falls Town Council Housing Committee Chairperson Councillor Bernard Nyamambi told Radio VOP on Tuesday that his council is very worried with Mpofu’s acquisition of more than three quarters of properties in Victoria Falls and eviction of tenants.
“The principals in the inclusive government should do something about this, as we speak he now owns 85 percent of this town .And each time he buys a building he evicts all tenants without any notice. He is buying these properties here as if he is buying pairs of shoes. We don’t know where he is getting this money, “said Nyamambi.
Nyamambi added: “Our people are crying daily because they have no where to stay or operate their small businesses like flea markets, as Mpofu is taking over all properties and evicting them .I think there should be a law that forces those in public office to declare their assets.”
Since his appointment two years ago as Mines Minister, Mpofu is one a buying spree of the properties in Matebeleland region especially in Bulawayo and Victoria Falls.
When Radio VOP contacted him recently over property buying spree Mpofu only said: “People of Matebeleland should be happy that one of their own sons is rising and they should support him”.
He denied being corrupt saying that he worked hard to be where he is today.