Mining bosses under probe as looters ‘capture’ Midlands

A SIGNIFICANT number of Zimbabwe’s powerful provincial mining executives, including directors, have been placed under probe following reports of sleaze in the US$12 billion industry, the Zimbabwe Independent can report.

It is not clear if the current investigations, disclosed by Pfungwa  Kunaka, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, will end with looters accounting for pillaging public resources.

But reports of unrestricted plunder by top level government officials, working with international syndicates, have always surfaced, the latest being the ‘gold mafia’, which shook Zimbabwe recently.

Some of the reports have been published by the Office of the Auditor-General.

Kunaka’s comments came as the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) piled pressure on authorities to launch their own investigation to get to the bottom of reports alleging that the Midlands Provincial Mining Director (PMD)’s office sat at the heart of the pillage.

“There have been cases under investigation, or that went through the courts,” Kunaka told the Independent.

“We welcome due professional process. The question to ask is, what should individuals or organisations do when they suspect or witness corruption being perpetrated? We expect such to be reported to relevant authorities.”

In its report released this week, ACT-SA narrowed its critique to the Midlands PMD’s office, where the government made top level changes early this year, amid reports of serious corruption.