Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
ZANU-PF National Political Commissar Cde Victor Matemadanda has urged big mining companies located in Matabeleland South Province to give mining claims that they are not utilising to war veterans, youths and women from the region to empower them.
Speaking during a meeting with war veterans, war collaborators and ex-detainees from Matabeleland South Province in Gwanda recently, Cde Matemadanda, who is also the Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans’ Affairs, said mining companies such as Blanket Mine and Vumbachikwe were holding onto claims at the expense of locals. He said some of these claims were not being used.
“In Matabeleland South Province there are a number of gold mines and most of them are under Blanket Mine and Vumbachikwe among other mining companies. They have been holding onto these claims since 1980 while the people are hungry. We are asking them but at the same time telling them to allocate some claims to veterans of the liberation struggle, youths and women in Matabeleland South Province,” he said.
“We want their investment but they shouldn’t deny our children, war veterans and women a chance to benefit from the resources they fought to obtain. We don’t want to hear about mines that are not being utilised. We are not going to respect them forever knowing that it won’t protect our people. We won’t leave this revolution that we started incomplete. Yes, we abide by the law but the law should observe morality of the revolution of our people.”
Cde Matemadanda said mining claims had to be given to artisanal miners as they were the major suppliers of gold to Fidelity Printers compared to large scale miners. He urged Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs Minister, Abednico Ncube, who was also present at the meeting to engage the mining companies over the issue.
Cde Matemadanda raised concern over corruption by mining officials in the province which was rampant. He said civil servants who are not committed to serve Government effectively must be demoted.
“We expect big mining companies to produce but most of them are not delivering to Fidelity Printers. Let our people mine; this is their country. They don’t have a second country. Artisanal miners are supplying more gold to Fidelity Printers than big mines as they are stealing the gold. Our youths should be empowered by the resources we fought to attain,” he said.
“Minister Abednico Ncube can you please engage Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando as there is a lot of corruption in mines in Matabeleland South. Mining officials are corrupt and even though these cases are reported no one is arrested. These are irregularities that have to be fixed and if they have to be reassigned or they have to go home so that normalcy is retained then so be it.”
Cde Matemadanda said when people voted for the revolutionary party Zanu-PF, they expected it to deliver on its manifesto. He said the party can only deliver on its promises by ensuring that people benefit from resources in the country. Cde Matemadanda said the party will not be apologetic on its stance.—@DubeMatutu