FORMER Masvingo governor and chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy Lovemore Matuke has cited poorly-negotiated mining contracts as stifling the development of the sector.
Matuke made the remarks during the third edition of the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association-organised Zimbabwe Alternative Mining Indaba in Bulawayo yesterday.
The indaba is being held under the theme: Communities Aloud: Fighting Corruption to Promote Transparency and Accountability.
For long, the mining sector has been tipped to take over from agriculture as the anchor of the country’s ailing economy but has dismally failed to do so.
“There is a bona fide need for well-negotiated contracts between government and investors in the sector,” Matuke said.
“Well-negotiated contracts and proper use and management of mineral revenue will ensure that the country derives maximum tangible benefits for both the present and future generations.
“We need to make sure that we maximise on this boom that we currently have and invest in other sectors of the economy.”
Matuke also challenged the mining indaba to come up with strategies to wipe out corruption in the sector.
The government has been under pressure to reveal the mining contracts especially in the diamond sector where government’s foreign partners are allegedly syphoning out unprocessed minerals and their dividends.
Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa has suggested the merger of mining companies in Chiadzwa as a way of plugging leaks in mining sector.