Sunday, March 22, 2009

(HERALD) Minister slams corrupt officials

Minister slams corrupt officials
Bulawayo Bureau

THE Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has been riddled by corrupt officials who have been issuing mining claims to non-producers for speculative purposes while at the same time denying serious investors licences to operate, a Cabinet minister revealed yesterday.

In an interview at Ntabazinduna Police Training Depot, where he was the reviewing officer at the pass-out parade of 273 police officers, Minister of Mines and Mining Development Obert Mpofu said his ministry was taking corrective action to address the matter.

He said the measures included inviting potential investors turned away by officials from his ministry to reapply for licences and reclaiming those mining claims that were issued out corruptly or for speculative purposes.

"If you look at most of the claims, you will realise that they were issued for speculative purposes, which was hindering development. I will say in some cases 99 percent of the claims were given to non-producers and some of them had several claims," said Minister Mpofu.

"In the process, genuine investors were turned away, but we have recalled some of the investors because we want to deal with serious people only. This is why the Government is asking for US$20 000 from potential miners because we want to deal with serious people," he added.

He said cases of corruption by officials from his ministry had been reported countrywide.

Earlier, Minister Mpofu had revealed that some officials suspected of involvement in the scandal were resisting transfer from provinces they were stationed at to the head office, something unheard of in the civil service. He said because of their stubbornness, he was left with no choice but to take firm action against them.

"They are refusing to move, but we will deal with them accordingly. It’s unbelievable that you can have a civil servant refusing to move. When I left Harare, I had three or four letters from lawyers saying the officers were refusing to move," said the minister.

"You give an order to your subordinate and they answer you through lawyers, something, which I or the Commissioner General (of the Zimbabwe Republic Police Augustine Chihuri) can’t do when we are told to move we move.

"But we will deal with them because the President appointed two big ministers. Me and my deputy (Murisi Zwizwai), we both weigh more than 100kg, so we will deal with them."

Minister Mpofu said his mandate was to ensure that the country’s minerals were sustainably exploited so that they contribute meaningfully to the turnaround of the economy.

He said Zimbabwe had a wide range of minerals which, if exploited properly, could improve the economy significantly.

He said the dwindling production in the mining sector over the past 18 months was worrisome and the Government would play its part to raise production through the mechanisation of the mining sector, among other initiatives.

The Government, he said, would also act to stop the illegal exporting of minerals so that all minerals benefit the country.

Turning to the establishment of the inclusive Government, Minister Mpofu said the pass-out parade came at a time when Zimbabweans had united for the purpose of nation-building, reconstruction and reconciliation.

He said the benefits of the new political dispensation would cascade to all facets of people’s lives and urged all Zimbabweans to embrace the inclusive Government.

"In its concerted efforts to turn around the economy, basing on the unity of purpose demonstrated by our political leaders, the Government urges all progressive citizens to be an integral part of this crusade. This is not a period for hostility neither is it a period of self-aggrandisement, but it is a period for putting the nation before self," he said.

The minister said the Government had allowed the use of multiple currencies as part of measures to rejuvenate the economy.

He said although the measures had contributed substantially towards the recent improvement in the production and supply of basic goods, the Government was concerned by the mushrooming of businesspeople who were evading paying tax.

"There is a considerable number of unprincipled businesspeople who are selling their goods and services in foreign currency that are deliberately avoiding getting licences in order to evade paying tax. In this regard, may I strongly warn all perpetrators of economic crimes that liberalisation of the economy does not translate into repealing of all enactments dealing with economic crimes and the Government will not hesitate to deal with them accordingly."

The graduands went through a six-month training programme covering subjects such as police duties and investigations, Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23, weapon handling and public order management, statute law, foot and arms drill and the history of Zimbabwe.

They were also trained in first aid, radio and telecommunication, counter-insurgence and human rights and policing.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home