Fidelity Printers Runs Out Of US Dollars To Pay Miners Amid Accusations Of Illicit Dealings At The Centres.
20 May 2020
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Fidelity Printers chief executive officer, Fredrick Kunaka

Own Correspondent|Small-scale gold miners have raised a red flag after Fidelity Printers’ gold buying points have reportedly ran out of US Dollars to pay for their gold.

Fidelity is the country’s sole buyer of the yellow metal and runs several buying centres countrywide.

A gold miner in Inyathi District on the outskirts of Bulawayo confirmed to that he did not get his cash for gold deliveries on Friday.

“We were told there’s no cash and we don’t know why? We delivered our gold at Fidelity on Friday and Saturday,” he said. “We suspect that the staff at Fidelity is making illicit deals with the foreign currency issued to them.”

Fidelity Printers chief executive officer, Fredrick Kunaka, confirmed the cash shortages.

The Fidelity Printers and Refiners boss says the cash shortages from their gold buying centres are due to the current COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted foreign currency inflows into the country and dismissed the allegations of forex misuse at their branches.

The cash shortages appear to be widespread at most Fidelity Printers branches. Miners in Chinhoyi have also been complaining that their local branch is also out of hard currency yet Fidelity was collecting gold from miners. The miners also accused workers at the Chinhoyi branch of misusing the money at the expense of miners.

Kunaka said, “We would like to reiterate that the current cash shortages have nothing to do with employees at our buying centres rather its due to the cash movement disruption brought about by the COVID 19 lockdown”.

“FPR has been diligently paying all the miners who deliver their gold using the formal channels and with the relaxation on the lockdown measures, we are hoping we will start receiving cash and all payments will normalise,” he said.

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting over 200 countries in the world with countries resorting to restricting movements in an effort to combat the deadly disease. This has disrupted world trade as many countries banned incoming and outgoing commercial or passenger flights.

South African gold refiner RAND REFINERY stopped shipping gold to London on 30 March 2020 because of a lack of commercial flights, adding to the disruption that’s upending the physical bullion market. However business is set to improve as some countries have began easing trade restrictions.

Additional reporting by Mining Zimbawe.