Zimbabwe is losing at least three tonnes of gold valued at US$157 million monthly through illicit financial flows, the Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) claims.
A report, titled Zimbabwe’s Disappearing Gold: The Case of Mazowe and Penhalonga, was officially released on 8 July 2022 claiming that cumulatively, gold money worth billions of dollars is leaving the country through the black market and the proceeds therefrom are stashed in offshore accounts.
“Illicit financial flows (IFFs) in the artisanal mining sector in Zimbabwe are responsible for leakages of an estimated three tonnes of gold, valued at approximately US$157 million every month.” The report stated.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said that the country is losing US$100 million a month through gold smuggling.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube has estimated that between 30 tonnes and 34 tonnes of gold produced in Zimbabwe is smuggled to South Africa annually.
According to the CNRG report, Zimbabwe is losing billions of dollars through smuggling, corruption and price manipulation by cartels, corrupt networks and criminal syndicates, the report stated.
Artisanal and small-scale miners produce over 60% of total gold deliveries but some of their mining activities are unregulated.
Meanwhile, the report also stated that the RBZ’s Fidelity Printers and Refineries (FPR) gold-buying rates remain lower than black market rates, thereby fuelling side marketing and smuggling of gold.