According to the Quarterly Mineral Production 2020/ 2021, gold output during the first quarter of 2021 was at 4 311kg compared to 6 152kg produced in the same period last year, and 4 794kg in the past quarter.

These figures from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, indicate a huge 55.6% decline in small-scale sector deliveries.

Meanwhile, with gold leakages rising at an unprecedented rate, some market watchers are wondering if this huge drop would be attributed to mineral smuggling.

One market watcher, Elder Mabhunu says smuggling could be one of the main cause of the drop, if not the prime.

Recently, Zimbabwe Miners Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya’s former driver, Tashinga Nyasha Masinire, was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport for allegedly smuggling gold.

Rushwaya made headlines in October last year when she was arrested at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare for alleged gold smuggling.

Apparently, Zimbabwe Republic Police boss Godwin Matanga recently disclosed that there was rampant smuggling through the country’s main airport as workers there are allegedly working hand in hand with smugglers.