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Minister Chitando’s Return to Mines Ministry Raises Industry Concerns

Mines minister, Winston Chitando has come under fire amidst allegations of leveraging his position for personal gain within the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.

His recent return to the Mines Ministry has sparked controversy, coinciding with fresh legal disputes that have further tainted his tenure.

Last year, Chitando was reassigned to the Local Government Ministry, but his reappointment to Mines has been met with skepticism and uproar. The controversy surrounds multiple lawsuits accusing Chitando of mishandling mining disputes to benefit himself and associated entities.

One particularly contentious case involves allegations that Chitando facilitated the transfer of gold claims from Anesu Gold, owned by local businessman Yakub Mohamed, to Gold Reef Mining, a company in which he reportedly holds a stake. Despite legal challenges and accusations of impropriety, the Ministry of Mines has staunchly defended Chitando’s actions, exacerbating concerns about misuse of authority.

“There is a growing sentiment among affected parties to escalate these matters to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc),” revealed a source familiar with the situation, highlighting mounting pressure on Chitando to be held accountable.

Efforts to obtain comment from Chitando have so far been unsuccessful, further adding to the opacity surrounding these allegations.

In recent legal proceedings, Mohamed asserted that Anesu Gold rightfully owned the disputed claims, known as the Mangoro claims (Ipanema). Chitando’s legal representative, Lovemore Madhuku, did not file a counter-affidavit to challenge these claims during a court appearance, underscoring the seriousness of the allegations.

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This is not the first time Chitando has faced such accusations. Earlier this year, he faced criminal charges for allegedly favoring one mining company over another in a dispute over gold claims in Bindura. The charges, ranging from abuse of office to fraud, cast a shadow over his decisions as Minister of Mines.

Furthermore, controversies involving other mining interests linked to Chitando, such as Barrington Resources and Hanzu Resources, have also surfaced. These incidents have raised significant questions about conflicts of interest and ethical governance within Zimbabwe’s mining sector.

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