THE Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) has received assurance from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe that its members will start receiving outstanding payments for gold deliveries this week.
ZMF is the mother body of small-scale miners in the country and of late it has received concerns from small-scale miners over delays by Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) to pay for gold delivered. FPR is the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) sole gold-buying unit.
According to an internal correspondence seen by this paper, ZMF and RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya, held a meeting last Thursday at which the Central Bank boss committed to settling the outstanding payments starting this week.
“ZMF and the RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya had a meeting today the 27th of August 2020 at the Governor’s boardroom with regards to delays in payment for bullion/nuggets remitted to FPR.
“He has sincerely apologised and committed that all outstanding or arrears FPR bullion payments will be done starting next week (this week),” reads part of the document signed by the ZMF chief executive officer Mr Wellington Takavarasha. Official comment could not be obtained from RBZ.
ZMF has since urged its members to continue delivering their gold to FPR. Should the miners experience payment challenges after the engagement, Mr Takavarasha said members should raise the issue with his office.
“We sincerely apologise and regret for the suffering you have endured in the past two weeks,” said ZMF.
FPR has attributed the delays to settle payments for gold deliveries to shortage of foreign currency following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has seen restrictions on international flights that transport the hard currency into the country.
Of late, it has been observed that delays in payment for gold deliveries is one of the major contributory factors to the smuggling of Zimbabwe’s yellow metal to countries such as the United Arab Emirates and the neighbouring South Africa.
The smuggling of Zimbabwe’s gold works against the attainment of the US$12 billion mining industry by 2023. Under the US$12 billion strategic roadmap, which President Mnangagwa launched in October last year, the gold sector is expected to contribute US$4 billion. Last year, Zimbabwe generated about US$2 billion in gold export earnings.-chronicles.co.zw