Senator Timveos Quizzes Minister Chidhakwa Over Marange Diamonds Corruption

Senator Timveos Quizzes Minies Minister Chidhakwa Over Corruption at Marange Diamond Fields.
Honourable Senator Lilian Timveos, the Shadow Minister and MDC-T Spokesperson for Home Affairs recently quizzed the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Mr Walter Chidhakwa, during Question Time in the Senate, about reported rampant corruption within government entities operating in the Marange diamond fields.
SENATOR TIMVEOS: Thank you Madam President. Hon.
Minister Chidhakwa, I wanted to just ask how are you going to tackle
corruption? We have been reading a lot about corruption, your Ministry
and Chiadzwa, even the board of directors or the bosses were said to be
paying themselves over US$100 000 and almost US$200 000, an
example of what is happening. What are you going to do to tackle
corruption? Thank you very much?
(MR CHIDHAKWA): Thank you Madam President, thank you hon.
Senator for that question, it is a question that we must ask everyday and
we must answer every day until and unless we say to ourselves this is
bad for our economy, we will not move, particularly in the mining
sector. Yesterday I addressed our officials at the Geology Service
Centre, where our geologists are housed. I said to them the first thing
that you need to know is that God did not create you corrupt.
God created you by the circumstances around you and you allowed
yourself to be corrupt. You think it is a small thing and I keep telling
them that it begins by saying ndikangowanawo kaUS$300
kekubhadhara school fees then next time you will say kaUS$300 inga
kanotowanika next time you say US$1000, next time US$5000. The
information that you are giving up for US$300 is worth billions of
dollars for this country and we yield very valuable information about our
resources to foreigners for very small amounts of money. The
department that is accused of corruption the most is the Chief
Government Mining Officers in the districts. While they give
allocations, they say we will allocate you this claim, the people sense
and say, well it looks like a very rich claim and pay the Government
officer, then another person is allocated on it, another will offer more
money and he will be allocated on it and they will continue to do that.
When I got to the Ministry the first day, I looked at the papers and
I saw that I am first respondent on a matter that I have not known kuti
yakamboitikira kupi and I said, how do I become a first respondent on
this matter. The issue is that we must create institutions and systems
that are able to detect and deal with corruption and I want to give you an
example. There is what is called the cadastre system, the cadastre
system is a system that divides the country into small little boxes on the
computer and using GPS systems, you are able to say this claim runs
from this point to this point, you allocate that on the computer. If
somebody comes for an allocation and needs to take away his name; you
can put security systems that ensure that the moment you want to
allocate, the computer refuses to produce anything, it says there is
already somebody allocated.
If you want to take away the person who is there, you must send a
message to your senior official until you get to the permanent secretary
and to the minister, now if you are going to change and give your friend
akupa mari, you have to corrupt this whole chain kunosvika nayo
kumusoro and hazvina kuchipa kuti ucorrupte vanhu vese ivava.
We think we should have systems in place. Zambia is not a big
mining country but it has these systems. They implemented the systems
about two or three years ago. I asked one of the officials and he said;
minister you are a third minister who has asked for this to happen. There
are two other Ministers of Mines who also requested that we implement
this; since you have also come up, your track will be covered and things
will continue normally and corruption will be taken care of. We must
also keep educating officers in the various departments that national
interest is important.
In the companies that you were referring to honourable, allow
people who are working there to believe that if I can work hard enough
to create enough money to pay the salaries of our chief executives; if I
can pay the salaries of the people who work here and my own salary, I
am done. They forget that these are Government companies which must
serve the people of Zimbabwe. We have started investigating, we are
working on Marange now. By the end of the month we will have the
results of Marange and we will tell this Senate the results. We will also
act. Thank you Madam President.


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