Michael Magoronga Midlands Correspondent
GAIKA Gold Mine in Kwekwe, which ceased operations in 1998 under unclear circumstances, has been re-opened under a Community Ownership Scheme.
The Community Ownership Scheme is the brainchild of youths in the gold rich town who have expressed willingness to work with the mine owners, Duration Gold. They have since approached Mbizo legislator Vongainaishe Mupereri to work on the modalities on how to take over the mine.
Mupereri told Sunday News Business that the community approached him for assistance on how to approach Duration Gold which has since abandoned the gold mine.
“The mine has opened its doors to the community after I approached Gold Duration on behalf of the community at their headquarters in Bulawayo.
They didn’t give me clear reasons on why they closed the company,” he said.
“As a community leader I approached all the relevant authorities to have the mine reopened and create employment for our people. I am only representing people in this area so that they can be employed. Youths have since indicated that they are willing to work with the company owners. We cannot have a situation where a company just closes under unclear circumstances.”
He said they modalities are being worked out in terms of organisational structures. Cde Mupereri in correspondence to the relevant authorities expressed frustration at the manner Duration Gold closed the mine.
“. . . Your company started operations in 1983. You operated on open mine. Before this, Gaika Mine operated underground, many households were displaced, paving way for establishment of the entity with the pretext that it will create massive employment for the locals. However, it only operated until 1998 and closed without any convincing reasons. All machinery was removed from the mining site,” read part of the letter written by Cde Mupereri.
He said the takeover by the youths will not only create employment for the youths but will also boost gold deliveries to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.