ZANU-PF youth chairman in Mashonaland West Province, Vengai Musengi, and his leadership team, are being accused of wrestling gold mines from an empowerment trust, Zuvarabuda Empowerment Trust (ZET), which is wholly owned by the governing party, it has emerged.
Zuvarabuda Empowerment Trust has since appealed to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to intervene in the conduct of the party’s youth provincial leadership.
The accused ZANU-PF officials including Musengi, Timothy Masviba, Givemore Nyanhowe and Taurai Bota, are also accused of name-dropping the party’s national leadership in the alleged grabbing of gold mines in the province.
According to a letter addressed to President Mnangagwa, Zuvarabuda said Musengi imposed his alleged team at Pickstone Peerless Mine in Chegutu replacing the party youth who had initiated the empowerment project.
The letter said the same happened at Midwinter Mine (4 Stumper) Pickstone area.
The letter further noted that Musengi allegedly worked in cahoots with Breckridge Mining Directors to displace Danangwe District Youth Mining Co-operative (DDYMC).
DDYMC and Danangwe District Youth chairman Stewart Luckford are said to have resisted Musengi’s takeover strategies.
“Your Excellency, it is within our understanding and knowledge that there are political entrepreneurs in the party, those who are using the party name to suppress, intimidate, threaten and steal from the innocent people,” reads part of the letter.
“They even get to the extent of using big names in politics to politically and economically terrorise party people in communities just like Cde (Musengi) Vengai and his team is doing in order to grab mines especially in Chegutu District where we live.”
Added the letter: “They can fabricate unfounded allegations so as to smear anyone whom they target for them to get what they want. The cooperative was displaced and many people from the local community and Chegutu District at large economically affected as a result of this move just like what happened to other projects.”
Zuvarabuda Empowerment Trust secretary general Innocent Nicks confirmed generating the letter.
According to the letter, Musengi is also accused of roping in ZANU PF national youth leadership in the on-going gold wars in the Province.
Efforts to get a comment from Musengi were fruitless as his mobile phone number continuously went unanswered.
In 2016, Zuvarabuda Empowerment Trust applied for a mining tribute from Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), Chegutu’s Gadzema Area and in 2017 the organization led the youths in the area but Musengi instructed other Trust members to resign from to form Gadzema Mining Cooperative.
According to the letter, Musengi together with his close lieutenants in the provincial youth wing like Masviba successfully replaced ZET with Gadzema Mining Cooperative and this structure was dissolved through a court order.
After this defeat, the letter further noted that Musengi went on to advise his lieutenants to form Task Mining Syndicate which again came and occupied part of Zuvarabuda’s mining block (14816 Newfound Claims).
In its expansion drive Zuvarabuda Empowerment Trust got mining rights at David Whitehead Textiles’ Dumpsite area after gold was discovered in the area by illegal gold miners before the Mashonaland West’s Youth Convention held at the end of 2019 which in the Empowerment group’s view was convened to request endorsement of illegal mining activities in the province.
When hearing that the Trust was in its process to acquire mining rights at David Whitehead, Musengi, according to the letter, allegedly made efforts to politically counter the application using political heavy weights.
“To make sure they cripple the organisation, after they disturbed our David Whitehead application, Musengi and team, Masviba, Givemore Nyanhowe (DCC), Taurai Bota and a few youths from Chegutu formed Gidi 7 Cooperative meant to replace ZET from Newfound Out Claims,” reads the letter.
“We strongly feel that our principals, Musengi and his team are acting in contradiction with their mandate, obligations and expectations for we feel that they should be supporting proper and good things that are within the confines and parameters of our policies, laws and regulations and avoiding personal interests’ advancement.”
Zuvarabuda Empowerment Trust is a registered indigenous organisation, incorporated in 2013 and is a member of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation.
The organisation’s registration was morphed out of the realisation to become a formal body that lobbies the government, public or private companies, local authorities, parastatals and individuals for and on behalf of youths, women and men with a vein of securing resources that empower, employ and benefit them. – Business Times