Simrac Group of Companies has been accused of bribing
Kadoma Town Councillors to facilitate special mining grants at undesignated areas.
The opposition led municipality reportedly awarded special mining grants to Simrac Holdings at Chrome Park Residential Area against the advice by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development that the area was not fit for mining activities since it was a residential area.
Allegations are that, some councillors received US$1 000 each to fast track the special grants which they hurriedly facilitated.
Ironically, Simrac Holdings was awarded the special grant ahead of Litten Chikowore, who had been conducting mining activities in the area and was supposed to get first preference, but his application was rejected.
Chikowore had been mining using a special grant given to him by Kadoma Town Council.
Following a directive by Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs and Devolution Secretary, Kadoma Director of Works, Eng Musarira even established that the mining activities were encroaching into the Maranatha stands.
Contacted for comment, Mayor Nigel Ruzario refuted the bribery claims, saying everything was done above board.
“I am not aware of anyone who received any money; I might not speak for others, but you never know when individuals behave differently. If there is any councillor who received money, I am yet to receive that information, but to my knowledge, everything was done above board,” he said.
Asked why they granted Simrac ahead of Chikowore, Cllr Ruzario said they focused on capacity to conduct mining operations.
“Simrac was not the only beneficiary, but Chikowore also got 10 hectares together with the Women Empowerment Group. We looked at the capacity that the miners have above everything else,” he explained.
On why the special meetings to grant the special grants were hurriedly done, Cllr Ruzario said “We were supposed to do the full council on Tuesday, but we did not have enough information, so we postponed it to Wednesday, and again, we could not, and we only did the meeting on Thursday.
There is nothing amiss with that.”
Cllr Ruzario said the stands were safe from mining activities.
“After we conducted investigations, we found out that the residential areas where the stands are, there are no mining activities taking place. The stands are safe from the mining activities,” he said.
He said the council is even benefitting from the mining venture.
“We have entered into a partnership with the miners whereby we will be getting 30 perecnt of the proceeds which we channel towards service delivery in the city. Kadoma is a gold rich area and we should benefit from it.
This is what we will be doing with the miners who are getting special grants from now on,” he said.
Kadoma Town has 22 councillors with the Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC) having the majority, (18) while Zanu-PF has four councillors.
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