Possession of gold, which currently has a mandatory five-year jail term, is to be decriminalised if the country’s central bank, which is the custodian of the precious mineral, gets its way.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya said yesterday there was need to decriminalise the possession of gold and instead focus on engaging artisanal miners on the norms and principles of responsible gold trading.
“To this end, the Reserve Bank, in consultation with the relevant authorities, is currently working on a policy to decriminalise the possession of gold in order to allow those in possession of gold to sell it to Fidelity Printers and Refiners," Mangudya said in his monetary policy statement.
He said gold production in the first half of this year was 8 181 kg. Production was expected to reach 16 tonnes, three more than last year.
Mangudya said the central bank was working with the government and the private sector to boost gold output. He said these efforts were targeted at reducing gold leakages and ensuring that all gold in Zimbabwe is sold through formal channels in order to optimise the country’s benefits from the precious metal.
The central bank governor said the country had the potential to produce 30 tonnes of gold a year.