Top Zanu PF members close to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa have been accused of fuelling a nasty gold mine wrangle as they allegedly use the ruling party’s Midlands’ political godfather’s name to try and push out the owner.
by Staff Reporter
Mnangagwa’s top ally July Moyo, Zanu PF Midlands provincial spokesperson Cornelius Mupereri and Gokwe-Kana legislator Owen Ncube, are accused of interfering in the operations of Dundrum North Mine in Zhombe.
The gold-rich mine belongs to Milton Marufu, but the three have allegedly been backing Shephard Tundiya to take over the claim, accusing the owner of being a G40 member because he shares the same surname with First Lady Grace Mugabe.
Sources close to the dispute yesterday said Tundiya, who was allegedly working with a principal director in Mnangagwa’s office, Douglas Tapfumanei, assistance from acting provincial mining director identified as Makuza, secured a licence for the same claim Marufu also has a licence for.
However, Mupereri yesterday said neither himself nor Moyo and Ncube had an interest in Dundrum mine, but after several questions, claimed he was only aware that the mine was closed down by the police after ownership disputes.
“Whoever is giving you that information needs to see a doctor for medical examination,” Mupereri said.
“I don’t do mining. Cde Moyo has never been involved in mining, he cannot even identify gold. Cde Ncube has his own mine in Kwekwe. I don’t even know Marufu and we all don’t even know where Dundrum is.”
But after being quizzed further, Mupereri said. “I only know that there is a mine called Dundrum that was closed down by the police after a dispute ensued following the discovery of a lot of gold. I have never been there.”
Sources insisted the three have been using Tundiya as a front to take over the mine and are also using Mnangagwa’s name.
The mine has not been operational for more than a month as Zanu PF youths were disrupting mining activities.
The sources claimed Mnangagwa was aware of the developments and had tried to distance himself by advising the mining director to be professional.
“Tundiya is claiming to have a certificate for the disputed block, but the said certificate has technical and procedural deficiencies,” the source said.
“He obtained the prospecting licence way after the company had submitted an application with the ministry. There had been a dispute between two miners who include Milton Marufu”.
Marufu was not available for comment but in a July 15 letter to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) he said he suspected Vansburg Drumgold owned by Tundiya was given the licence fraudulently.
His lawyers, Garikai and Company wrote to the provincial mining director complaining about the Vansburg Drumgold certificate.
Contacted for comment, Tundiya denied he has a certificate or any mining interests.
“I am not involved in any mining activities. I am a transporter and I deal in coal and charcoal. Some people just want me in trouble or to soil my name. My line of business does not require any assistance from anyone. I do not have any mining licence for any claim,” said Tundiya.
Makuza, while claiming that he was not allowed to comment under public service rules said: “I can neither deny nor confirm the existence of a fake licence but you also know that I need a clearance from the permanent secretary of mines to speak to the media.
“My position is that I will not deny or confirm there is a certificate circulating”.
Tundiya has reportedly been “frantically running around” to find money “to corrupt” officials in the ministry of mines as well as police, Marufu claimed in the letter to Zacc.
Provincial police boss, Senior Assistant Commissioner Abigail Moyo said she could only comment on issues to do with security and maintenance of law and order.