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16 august 2021

Zim security chiefs hold crisis meeting on smuggling of precious minerals

12 november 2020
Image credit: istara (Pixabay)

The Zimbabwe military reportedly convened a crisis meeting last week following an alleged rise in the smuggling of gold and diamonds.
"In a no-holds-barred-meeting, the security chiefs made it clear that smuggling has become a security threat and if not addressed it may further cripple the economy which is already on its knees," an unnamed source was quoted as saying by the Zim Morning Post.
"Investigations which were presented in the meeting point to a situation where hundreds of people are now holders of gold buying licenses issued by Fidelity Printers and Refiners."
The publication claimed that the security officials had agreed to cancel all gemstone licenses, particularly those of gold and diamonds.
"A decision has already been arrived at. In the coming weeks, several licenses will be cancelled and stakeholders will be vetted before another certificate is issued," the unnamed source was quoted as saying.
Gold Miners Association of Zimbabwe chief executive Irvine Chinyenze said the country lost gold ranging between 25 tonnes and 30 tonnes as at end of October to smuggling.
A study conducted and released by the Kimberly Process Civil Society Coalition (KPCSC) mid-this year shows that the smuggling of Zimbabwean diamonds to Mozambique is on the rise following the closure of official border posts to curb the spreading of Covid-19.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished