ARTISANAL miners in Manicaland have expressed concern over Government officials and private surveyors’ deliberate attempt to frustrate their efforts to formalise their operations. They accused the officials and private surveyors of working in cahoots to deprive them of their claims.
“Whenever we locate a claim, we approach the ministry to assist us with surveyors so that we can have it surveyed and pegged, but the officials at the provincial office always complain that they cannot assist us because they are short-staffed and don’t have resources,” said a miner who requested anonymity.
“When we contract private surveyors to do the job and they discover that the claim has a lot of potential, they inform the officials at the provincial office behind our backs and when we go there to register our claims, we are often told that someone already owns it.
“This is despite the fact that we would have used a lot of money to pay for surveillance licence that will benefit someone else.”
The artisanal miners also accused officials of mining associations of being involved in the racket.
“I was told that there are mining associations who do not to want to accommodate new players,” they said.
“Some of them deliberately facilitate the smooth registration of new claims.”