2020-06-22

HARARE - Gold is Zimbabwe's chief export product. However, partly because of the country's monetary policy, an estimate of 50% of artisanal and small-scale mined gold in Zimbabwe is lost to smuggling, causing bloody turf wars that have claimed hundreds of lives.

Gold is Zimbabwe's chief export product, accounting for nearly $1.2 billion in annual forex receipts.

Around 50 per cent of the country’s gold production of 33 tonnes come from artisanal miners who deliver the yellow metal to Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR), owned by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. 

On the face of it, the arrangement between FPR and ASM looks perfect. But when you scratch beneath the surface, the picture crinkles like cellophane.

As it turns out, the miners are paid 55 per cent in US dollars and the remaining in worthless RTGS dollars.  

Sure enough, instead of selling gold to Fidelity as required by law, many have turned to smuggling, causing bloody turf wars that have claimed hundreds of lives.

A nose-on-the-ground that uncovers a gold-smuggling ring that stretches from the badlands of Zimbabwe to the Middle East and large parts of Central Asia.

Mazhar Farooqui

Mazhar Farooqui is a multiple-award winning investigative journalist at Gulf News, an English daily published out of the United Arab Emirates.

Supported
A grant of €1200 was allocated on 25 April 2019
ID
MT/2019/061

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How nations profit from Zimbabwe’s blood gold - Gulf News, 20 June 2020

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