‘Mines ministry does not have database’

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The Ministry of Mines does not have a database of mining claims and relies on mining registration cards and monthly revenue returns for information on existent mining operations, the Auditor-General (AG) Mildred Chiri, pictured, has said.

In a statement on the value for money performance report on the management of occupational health and safety in mining operations under the Ministry of Mines and Mining development, Chiri said the Midlands Province had a parallel structure running as a de facto ministry and collecting revenue from 3 800 claims.

“The Midlands Province had a parallel structure running with some of the Ministry of Mines duties under the banner Shurugwi District Zim-ASSET.

“This organisation was illegally collecting annual revenue registration fees from 1 700 claims which totalled $152 000 in 2017 depriving the government of the much- needed revenue,” the AG said.

The AG said the audit was conducted following press reports indicating poor occupational health and safety in mining operations and showed that the media was correct.

She said the ministry was not adequately monitoring issues of occupational health and safety in mining operations and that the ministry’s 2014 to 2018 strategic plan did not prioritise occupational health and safety as it had no goals and budget allocation.

“My pre-audit study revealed that the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development was not adequately monitoring Occupational Health and Safety in mining operations, thus, breeding non-compliance by mining operators resulting in high fatal accidents and contraction of diseases in small to medium scale mines. It was therefore not surprising that the media was awash with reports of accidents and deaths in these mining operations.”

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