The country’s mining sector is expected to grow by 13, 3% this year, according to forecasts by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela).
Zela projects co-ordinator Gilbert Makore said:
“Mining has seen a constant growth and for 2012 we are expecting that the mining sector will grow by 13,3%. The Chamber of Mines says the mining sector contributes no less than 11% to the gross domestic product (GDP) and this is before you factor in receipts from Marange diamonds.”
Makore predicted phenomenal growth for the country, largely due to proceeds from mining.
“The contribution of the mining sector is not only restricted to the GDP, but also extends to the balance of payments,” he said.
“We are also expecting that the mining sector will contribute half of Zimbabwe’s total exports, which is in the region of $4,4 billion.”
He added that there was need to convert non-renewable resources from mining into sustainable development.
“The main challenge faced in Zimbabwe with regards to the mining sector is that of converting the non-renewable resources into sustainable development. There is a need to turn these precious minerals into something that will continue contributing to the growth of the country. Mining is one of the largest employers in Zimbabwe as Zimplats, Zimasco and Mimosa employ and contract more than 15 000 workers,” he said.
Makore said Zimbabwe’s mining industry has overtaken the troubled agriculture sector as the main foreign exchange earner, contributing $2,6 billion to its $4,4 billion total export earnings in 2011.
Meanwhile, Chiadzwa Community Development Trust (CCDT) was claiming headmen in the area were accepting bribes from miners to turn a blind eye on the relocation of the community to Arda Transau in Odzi.
Speaking at a Zela workshop in Harare last week, CCDT chairpersonn Malvern Mudiwa said headmen in Chiadzwa had accepted bribes in various forms, including luxury cars, for them to remain silent.
“The headmen were not giving us information pertaining to the relocation of the community when miners came. They would not tell us much about where we were going and what to expect over there.
“They should also be saying something about this relocation since it is our ancestral land, but they have been silent,” Mudiwa said.
Mudiwa added there were unreported cases of human rights violations suffered by people in Chiadzwa.
“There are human rights abuses in that area that go unreported. People are getting bitten by security guard dogs and they are being abused verbally,” he said.
“We still need clearance to drive in and around Chiadzwa yet this is our ancestral land. This is a violation of our communal rights.
“As companies that came and displaced us, the least they can do is develop our community. We wanted roads, dip tanks, clinics, dams or even opportunities for self development, but they are not developing us in such ways.”