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Mohadi ‘summons’ Kazembe over Jumbo Mine

The ex-mine workers reportedly organised themselves into mining syndicates and have been extracting gold at what is believed to be one of Zimbabwe’s largest gold deposits.

The mine saga involving Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage minister, who also is Zanu PF Mashonaland Central provincial chairperson, Kazembe Kazembe, has taken a new twist with former workers at Jumbo Mine in Mazowe, who are clamouring for a stake in the mine which closed almost a decade ago, approaching Vice-President Kembo Mohadi to intervene.

The Mzi Khumalo-owned Metallon Gold’s unit, Jumbo Mine, closed in 2016. The mine is in Mazowe, Mashonaland Central province.

The South Africa-based mining magnate offered the group’s employees a stake in the mine to offset salary arrears of about US$18 million.

The ex-mine workers reportedly organised themselves into mining syndicates and have been extracting gold at what is believed to be one of Zimbabwe’s largest gold deposits.

However, Kazembe and other political leaders in Mashonaland Central, who are allegedly eyeing a stake in the mine, are sending their henchmen to disrupt operations at the mine.

In the latest development, Mohadi is said to have summoned Kazembe following complaints by the former workers.

According to sources, representatives of the ex-mine workers recently engaged the Office of the Vice-President to raise their concerns over Kazembe.

“He [Kazembe Kazembe] was called out by VP Mohadi and told not to interfere with the operations at the mine since the issue is a ticking time bomb threatening Zanu PF political stability and hegemony in Mazowe district and the province as a whole,” the sources said.

Kazembe was not readily available to comment but recently went to Jumbo Mine to seek audience with the former employees and party supporters.

He was, however, snubbed by residents especially the ex-workers, who accused him of reneging on his election campaign message to support their activities at the mine.

Metallon Corporation recently issued a statement on the restoration of large-scale mining at Jumbo saying the Mines ministry inspectorate conducted a safety inspection of pit mining operations around Mazowe Mine and suspended all unsafe mining practices in the affected areas on March 24, 2024.

“This order effectively halted all unsafe mining operations to pave way for formal, regulated operations.

“We regret that this legal government order and the mine’s plans to restore organised mining have faced resistance from some operators in the area,” the company said.

Jumbo Mine was established in 1890 with Charles Coghlan first pegging Jumbo Mine in 1891 and it opened in April 1904. – (Newsday)

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