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Mines minister, Chidhakwa offered bribes

MINES and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa has revealed that he was approached by private sector players, including mining companies, offering him bribes to facilitate deals.

BY DALPHINE TAGWIREYI

Eight weeks after assuming the powerful position, the minister revealed that corruption was rife in the sector and, in the short space of time he had been in office, some corrupt elements had already approached him seeking to grease his palms.

He would not reveal their identity only preferring to say: “I can’t tell you what transpired but what I can tell you is that the private sector approaches many people.

“The issue of corruption should not be viewed only from the recipient of the bribe, it must also be seen from the perspective of the giver as they are both corrupt, but I was approached.”

Chidhakwa said this on the sidelines of a Netherlands embassy-organised roundtable discussion on natural resources on Wednesday.

When pressed to reveal the identity of the culprits that had dangled bribes to him, Chidhakwa said he was not at liberty to discuss with the media what had transpired between him and the “corrupt mining companies.”

The revelations by Chidhakwa lend credence to allegations by President Robert Mugabe and civil society organisations that corruption especially in the awarding of contracts was rife in the mining sector.

In September, President Mugabe made sensational claims that former Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) board chairman Godwills Masimirembwa had demanded a US$6 million bribe from a Ghanaian investor.

The investor, William Ato Essien, is in a joint venture with ZMDC and police in Gye Nyame Resources, a diamond producer in Marange. No action has been taken against Masimirembwa.

Civil society organisation say the awarding of mining contracts in Marange diamond fields was shrouded in mystery amid fears that chefs were benefitting from the diamonds.

Former Finance minister Tendai Biti complained that diamond revenue was not reaching Treasury despite producers selling the gems.

In a pre-budget seminar recently, it was revealed that out of a targeted US$40 million expected from diamond sales, nothing had been received as at September 2013.

Chidhakwa said President Mugabe told him he had a tough task ahead in his new job as Mines minister.

“His Excellency told me that there is a task ahead to ensure that things are done in a certain manner that requires me to stand firm and every task has its own uphills and I should also live up to the expectations of the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.

In a bid to promote transparency, Chidhakwa said the ministry would engage small-scale miners as part of the initiative so that their interactions could yield meaningful developments.

“We proposed to them that they should come up with an umbrella union so that we engage in dialogue with their official representatives who will then pass on the information to the grassroots, rather than have different small groups dialoguing with us and yet passing on the same information,” he said.

11 Responses to Mines minister, Chidhakwa offered bribes

  1. the surrealist November 17, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    ministers are honourable officials and should be totally insulated against access by lowlifers. let the bereaucracy do its job while you policy the red tapping.

  2. parapinda November 17, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    name and shame Chidhakwa,urikutyeiko?? Z long z u keep these corrupt guys under cover then they r safe. Inga VaMugabe vakataura Masimirembwa?? Unless u r playing to the gallery to gain some sympathy…therez no benefit in being evasive wth corruption sir.

    • Gutter Poet November 18, 2013 at 7:49 am #

      I think the Minister is lying to buttress a point that he is fighting corruption..far from it. If it were true what has the Minister as a government officer who swore at his appointment to uphold the laws of Zimbabwe? I mean why did he not go to the police or the Zimbabwe Anti-corruption commission. I do not believe this twaddle for one bit and asking anybody to believe it is an insult without any shred of evidence that this took place. I challenge the Minister if he is being honest to put the names and evidence in the public domain..wait for it..he can not because it did not happen…This makes the minister guilty of a worser crime; that of LYING to the public and taking them for idiots. For this, he should be ashamed of himself!

  3. Mandla November 17, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    This is so revealing. It could mean Obert Mpofu was approached as well and only God knows what happened. It could also mean that Min Chidakwa is just playing us. If he is really irked by this surely he should just name and shame these guys….

  4. The Truth November 17, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    It is not appropriate for him to name those people right now. You know the laws we have in this world, he would just find himself on the receiving end, having to defend himself in the courts against genuinely corrupt people who approached him. Approached properly, behind the scenes investigations should already have commenced from which appropriate action would then be taken. Protovol has to be followed in pursuing matters like these otherwise you spoil a strong case!

    • Gutter Poet November 18, 2013 at 7:54 am #

      The minister should be able to provide evidence and witnesses for this to make sense..this is basic. Without this, why would he go to the press and make wild allegations? He should not take us for idiots, because we are not! This is just idle poppycock and addled nonsense meant to appear like someone who is doing some work to combat corruption when he knows he is not! Its one hell of a sick joke..and for an officer who started so well he does not need this warped speculative hoopte doodle.

  5. The Truth November 17, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Protovol s/be protocol!

  6. Timothy Siziba November 18, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    In America a bribe is called a facilitation fee.When you bribe a politician for an organization you officially lobby for and on behalf of the organization.Here our law is very vague about these issues.If I was asked to push for certain agendas for an organization and had access to the minister then a suggestion could be made whilst on the golf course away from possibly witnesses and if he refuses the carrot and decides to expose me deny very strongly and threaten to sue for defamation.I hope this sounds familiar to many of us.Many people live off this trade are called agents or consultants and are paid handsomely.

  7. chief November 18, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    how many aproached Obert Mpofu & what happened in his so many years as mines minister,hope this is not what delayed the Essar-zisco deal-grease/softener,aaah yaaaah ndomapfumire evamwe aya???.tongai henyu handiti makati ‘my zimbabwe’

  8. Pesanai November 19, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    Pliz remember that bribes to gvt officials are normally demanded. Kurotwi says US$10 million was demanded from him. If it was the norm to pay a bribe before you get a mining licence, then the mining company officials were simply following the normal channels set down. If they were previously forced to pay the bribes, then they must have been pleasantly surprised when the minister turned this down.

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