EMPOWERMENT lobby bloc, the Affirmative Action Group (AAG), yesterday put its weight behind gold buyer and miner, Pedzisayi “Scott” Sakupwanya, whose mining activities at Redwing Mine have re-ignited tensions among interest groups in Manicaland.
Sakupwanya is among the tributary investors who were granted the right to mine at Redwing although there is still a pending High Court determination on who should control the mine — after some interested companies objected to the existence of other rival miners.
This was after Redwing Mine judicial manager Cecil Madondo was accused of allowing Sakupwanya to mine despite having paved the way for another investor who thought had the sole rights to the mine.
Yesterday, the AAG said the weekend attacks on Sakupwanya in which advocacy groups and some villagers want him expelled from the mine, were a calculated assault on both Zanu PF and the government’s thrust on empowering youths.
“Zimbabwe is a lawful Republic and it has institutions that are legally positioned to deal with matters of ownership and property rights. As such … we must respect court judgments in settlement of disputes.
“It is in light of this reality that we as Affirmative Action Group stand and voice our concern at the attempt to drag … Sakupwanya’s name is thrown into the mud through unscrupulous media platforms as malicious and against the empowerment trajectory of the Second Republic.
“Sakupwanya is a hard working young Zimbabwean whose footprint in the gold mining business in Zimbabwe … in unquestionable and … if anything, he is an inspiration to many youths who are growing in the sector,” AAG worldwide president Mike Chimombe said yesterday.
“Progressive young people of Zimbabwe should be vigilant and focus on building their personal, community and indeed the nation’s GDP through more hard work and less attention to fake news and mud-slinging charades by the enemies of the Second Republic.
“As Zimbabweans we need to get used to the fact that it is no longer a crime to be young, black and rich. As a matter of fact, the Second Republic is very clear in its thrust of empowering young Zimbabweans in the various sectors of the economy, particularly in mining and agriculture.
“The participation of indigenous Zimbabweans in the mining sector, not only as workers but as mining claim owners is unparalleled, it is this policy that has created success stories like Sakupwanya,” Chimombe said further.
“We urge young Zimbabweans to align their economic planning with …. President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s vision of an upper middle income society by 2030. He is a very listening and attentive leader who has read through the #ZimAgricRising ,which has seen young people taking part in Agriculture mostly in communal and rented pieces of land.
“The President has rewarded this effort by unveiling 5 000 hectares of arable land across the country to the youths.
“So it is very important that young Zimbabweans take up this offer without hesitation.
“Vision 2030 is crafted to benefit today’s youths, who must take the lead now particularly in line with the accelerated Horticulture Recovery and Growth Plan as pronounced in the NDS1 ( National Development Strategy1).
Chimombe questioned if it was not a coincidence that Sakupwanya’s continued mining at Redwing was now under renewed scrutiny — weeks after he said he was winning the war against smuggling of gold out of the country.
Last month, Sakupwanya, who owns Better Brands Jewellery (BBJ) said his company’s deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) were at the cusp of reaching a new milestone.
He said that was a testament of their war against gold leakages.
Sakupwanya told the Daily News’s sister paper, the Daily News On Sunday that his company was on course to meeting its target of delivering a record six tonnes of gold to the government by the end of year.
Sakupwanya said this was achievable as BBJ had so far delivered 4,4 tonnes to FPR since the beginning of the year, notwithstanding the disruptions brought by the coronavirus pandemic.