Home » General » ZIMBABWE’S INTERIOR MINISTRY TAKES OVER LICENSING OF COPPER TRADEING TO CHECK SMUGGLING

HARARE, May 23– Zimbabwe’s Home Affairs (Interior) Ministry has told parliament that it has taken over the licensing of players involved in the copper business in the country in a bid to reduce smuggling of the metal.

Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Melusi Matshiya told the Senate Committee on Peace and Security that previously the the Ministries of Industry and Mines did the licensing. Since taking over the function, he added, the number of companies involved in the business had declined to five.

“People will say, why Home Affairs? It is because there is criminality involved that is why the licensing is not being done by the Ministry of Industry or Ministry of Mines,” said Matshiya, who explained that a strict procedure which involved investigations and clearance by the police before licensing had been adopted.

“That has helped us to reduce the number of licenses to five,” he said. “If you are not engaged in bonafide activity, you disqualify yourself from getting the license.”

He said companies would also require supporting letters from the ministries of industry and mines.

Among the licensed firms are national power utility Zesa Holdings and telecommunications operator Tel One.
The two firms have recorded huge losses as copper cables used for transmission have been stolen at various points.

Matshiya said copper smuggling was a lucrative transnational crime. “People look at a market. If there is a market elsewhere then people will try to take it there,” he said, adding that the police had recently impounded a truck coming from Zambia loaded with copper cables.

“People steal those cables, burn them up and come up with a new product.”

SOURCE: NEW ZIANA

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