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Scott Sakupwanya Ignores Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Findings At Redwing Mine Amid Illicit Dealings

Scott Sakupwanya Ignores Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Findings At Redwing Mine Amid Illicit Dealings

Scott Sakupwanya appears to have ignored the findings by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs, and Security as a recent survey by one of our reporters unravels more.

Trade unions, NGOs, and an Al-Jazeera documentary have all criticized the Zimbabwean gold mogul, one of Zanu-PF’s biggest donors.

With the mine said to have recently had a large number of fatalities, with miners dying at an alarming level, the gold dealer is said to have done a cleansing process earlier this year but damning evidence have suggested that nothing has really changed the situation at the mining site.

The rituals which are said to have been done Intentionally to placate the ghosts of numerous artisanal miners who died at the mine have yielded nothing but more drama.

Mining at the site had been halted a few months ago by the Environmental Management Agency following reports of illegal mining practices.

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Notably, cultural rituals and mining activities shouldn’t jeopardize safety precautions and environmental rules.

Better Brands Mining firm’s inadequate management of the mine is concerning, and it is imperative that the firm increase worker safety at the mine, he added.

One of the workers there who spoke on conditions of anonymity said, “If the mining company violates Ema’s restrictions and conducts the traditional ceremony, it may have unfavorable effects such as harm to the environment or danger to the workers, and this has been the case for a long time”

However, conducting a traditional ritual has yielded no results as they are insufficient to ensure the safety of miners.

The corporation, in my opinion, was attempting to solve the issue of mining fatalities, which have persisted even after, another worker said.

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Mineral leakages and gross violations of environment in the mining sector have had a detrimental impact on the sector’s capacity to help the nation evolve socioeconomically.

The government established a revenue goal for the gold industry of $4 billion by 2023. According to experts, illegal commerce in the extractive sector is destroying the economy, fostering chaos in communities, and has the ability to cause incalculable pain for everyday people as well as pose a threat to national security.

In light of this, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs, and Security launched an investigation into the security of minerals in order to determine the potential reasons of mineral leakages in the nation and make recommendations for how to stop them.

According to a report by the parliamentary portfolio committee titled The Security of Minerals: Illicit Trading in Minerals and Mineral Leakages, Treasury is losing large amounts of money through illegal trade in minerals, particularly gold.

“By 30 June 2023, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development should review the mining model at Redwing Mine in order to adopt a sustainable mining model that integrates former mine workers and the surrounding community so that leakages are minimised,” the report reads.

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“The Committee noted with concern that another source of gold leakages was at mining companies that have ownership wrangles. A case in point was Redwing Mine in Penhalonga which experienced an influx of illegal miners following a prolonged ownership wrangle. The Committee had an opportunity to meet former workers, management of Redwing Mine and Better Brands.

“The former workers highlighted that a lot of gold leakages were happening through artisanal mining at the tributary granted to Better Brands.”

The ommittee was told by the workers that there were over 800 pits and 400 hammer mills operating in Penhalonga.

In addition, the report noted that there were many gold buyers, both registered and unregistered, operating in the area.

Furthermore, there were over 13 illegal crossing points into Mozambique and it was believed that those routes were being used to smuggle gold out of the country.

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“Fidelity Gold Refiners were not stationed at the mining site to facilitate the buying of gold. There were high chances of under-declaration of gold produced and finally sold through formal channels.

“Better Brands told the Committee that its operations were above board and had declared 46,67kg to Fidelity Gold Refiners for the eight months it had been in operation since July 2021.

However a source at the mining company said: Nothing is being done above board and gold is being bought from the surrounding small scale miners to the giant company.

How Did Scott Get The Redwing Mine in Penhalonga

In February 2021, Sakupwanya faced arrest after his Betterbrands Mining Company illegally snatched 132 gold mining blocks from Redwing Mine in Penhalonga in connivance with Redwing judicial manager, Cecil Madondo.

The matter came to light after another company, Probadek Investments, approached the police and the courts claiming that they had earlier entered into an agreement with Redwing through Madondo – who at the time was in remand prison facing charges of fraud over the Sakupwanya deal – to mine on the same blocks that were later awarded to Sakupwanya’s Betterbrands.

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Probadek’s owners said they invested over US$300,000 as initial payments and were shocked Madondo signed a deal with Sakupwanya.

Probadek signed the joint venture with Redwing in October 2020, while Sakupwanya’s Betterbrands signed in December the same year, sparking a dispute on who between the two companies should mine at the disputed gold claims. Probadek reported the matter to the police for the arrest of Sakupwanya, but only his Chinese partner had been arrested.

The dispute reportedly attracted the attention of the Special Anti-Corruption Unit. According to the report, Betterbrands agreed to invest US$3 million, but the company paid US$50,000 to get the deal. The company was targeting paying off the remainder using proceeds from mining activities.

In December 2021, Scott Sakupwanya was kicked out of Redwing Ming Company. Rival miners, the surrounding community and local advocacy groups were accusing Sakupwanya of having become the law unto himself by terrorising competitors and defying the police for causing extensive environmental damage at Redwing.

They reported that Sakupwanya claimed that the mining concessions he was running in Penhalonga belonged to Emmerson Mnangagwa. A report said that the caretaker management at Redwing had resolved to stop Sakupwanya’s Better Brands from operating at the goldfields.

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In a letter dated 29 November 2021 that was addressed to Better Brands, Knowledge Hofisi, the Redwing interim corporate rescue manager, said he had replaced Sakupwanya’s company.

Duatlet Investments according to the report was set to partner with Redwing, a subsidiary of Metallon Corporation domiciled in the UK.

Source | ZiMetro News

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