Small-scale miners are facing challenges in maintaining the value of their hard-earned money due to the discrepancy between the US dollar and Zimbabwean dollar (ZWL) exchange rates.
The issue was raised by Zanu PF’s Gokwe Kumbuyani MP Spencer Tshuma, who revealed that banks were shortchanging small-scale miners seeking to buy the country’s gold-backed digital token known as Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) as a measure of ring-fencing value.
As a means of assisting small miners to sell their gold easily, the government, through Fidelity Printers, put many purchasing centres throughout the country, especially in areas that are rich in gold while partnering with some banks which include ZB Bank and CBZ Bank as buying points for the yellow metal.
Gold miners are paid 75% USD and 25% local currency.
According to Tshuma, these miners are getting money in different values from the same bank.
“My supplementary question to the Minister of Mines is, we heard him alluding to banks such as ZB Bank that are buying gold, but in buying gold, small-scale miners according to the new law, are supposed to be paid partly in USD and the other part in USD.
“So, the challenge is that when they receive their RTGs in the same bank, for them to buy the ZIGs referred to by the Minister of Finance, there is a challenge because they want to ring-fence the value of their money,” said Tshuma.
“The ZIG value then differs in terms of the rate when compared to the USD that they got that they are buying after selling the gold in that same bank. This means they will be getting money in different values in the same bank.”
Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Polite Kambamura said there is a need for relevant authorities to work together to ensure that artisanal miners’ profits are not eroded.
“I want to thank Hon. Tshuma for the pertinent question. His explanation that there is a challenge in maintaining the value of the money between the USD and RTGs value, I think there is a need for engaging the RBZ by our Ministry so that we ring-fence the value of the money that is received by small-scale miners,” said Kambamura.
The discrepancy between the USD and RTGS exchange rates has been a persistent issue in Zimbabwe, causing challenges for businesses and individuals alike. – (New Zimbabwe)