Mnangagwa ally Sakupwanya EXPOSED: See how he uses political connections to fuel gold leakages at Redwing Mine

A COMPANY linked to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ally, Scott Sakupwanya has been fingered in alleged gold leakages at Redwing Mine in Penhalonga, Manicaland province.

Sakupwanya, who was recently elected a Harare Councillor, is said to be using his proximity to political power to benefit from his tributary agreement with Redwing Mine by under-declaring gold ore brought to him for processing.

After being fingered in a recent Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) report on gold and diamond racketeering, residents, mine workers and artisanal small scale miners took turns to lay into his Betterbrands Mining Company (BMC).

They were responding to investigations by a parliamentary portfolio committee on defence, home affairs and security held Friday at the mine.

BMC stands accused of elbowing out a company called Prime Royal off its tributary agreement with Redwing Mine, that would have seen workers and artisanal miners get between 20% and 40% of output realised after processing.

A corporate rescue plan, designed for a then-struggling Redwing, is said to have paved way for massive gold plunder and environmental degradation at the mine.

“There is massive gold plunder at Redwing Mine, but it is protected by high government officials,” said one Redwing mine worker.

“Workers applied for a corporate rescue plan to look for an investor after Redwing failed to pay salaries, but that application paved way for looters to have access to loot gold while the applicants are left languishing in abject poverty.

“Small miners incur a lot of costs during the mining process, but afterwards the authorised gold hammer mills buy that gold at10% less than the actual price.

“Small miners are merely working in the shafts for the benefit of a few powerful individuals.The system that was put in place is not workable.”

The CNRG report claims Sakupwanya, a “grand gold buyer” who has been pictured with mounds of American dollars and leads an opulent lifestyle, is a runner for top politicians.

“Scott Sakupwanya, according to one of his several runners in Penhalonga, is receiving millions of dollars from rich people and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to buy gold for them. He, in turn, gives the money to his army of runners throughout the country,” reads the report.

“Accessibility to pits has turned political as powerful Zanu PF politicians in Mutasa and Mutare Districts are now partly responsible for granting access. These include the party youth executives, chairpersons and losing councilors of the party, who were reported to be writing letters to Redwing, instructing them on who should get the mining pits.”

A Redwing Mine worker told parliament there was no accountability on how much they are supposed to get as there is no way their manager can know how much BMC would have made.

“There is organised confusion and our efforts to avert it have gone in vain. We agreed with BMC that it must remit 20% of their production for the welfare of Redwing Mine workers.

“There is no accountability of the 20% because the Redwing manager does not know how much has been produced by BMC at the processing plants. The country is losing a lot of money because BMC operations are shrouded in secrecy.

“Redwing Mine has no say and what BMC produces is shrouded in secrecy.”

Centre for Research Development (CRD) director, James Mupfumi, said the mining model being practised at Redwing is not sustainable, hence government must come up with a new one in order to realise sustainable development.

A resident of Penhalonga, Lloyd Banda, demanded that parliament summon both BMC and Redwing Mine managers to give answers on where all the gold being produced was being shipped.

“They must tell us where all that gold being shipped from the mine is going to. Fidelity Printers must produce reports of how much gold has been produced and sold so far at Redwing mine.” – NewZimbabwe

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