HomeNewsParly pokes holes into Mines Bill

Parly pokes holes into Mines Bill

-

MINES and Energy Parliamentary portfolio committee chairperson Daniel Shumba has poked holes into the proposed Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill, saying the proposals have serious loopholes likely to perpetuate mineral leakages.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

Speaking at a Publish What You Pay (PWYP)-organised meeting in Harare yesterday, Shumba said Parliament had since engaged the Ministry of Mines on their concerns and resolved to dismiss the Bill.

Public hearings were done where people expressed reservations on the proposals that are supposedly meant to correct the imbalances as regards the mining sector.

Shumba gave a litany of reasons why they were objecting to the Bill.

“The committee resolved to reject the Bill,” he said, adding that they made the decision after intense introspection.

“You should ask why Zimbabwe is not benefiting from its minerals. It is because of poor pieces of legislation like this (Bill) that you call legislation.”

He said his committee was worried over the delay by Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa in bringing up the Bill to Parliament.

“The committee has tried to re-engage the minister to understand the delays in his coming before us with the Bill with a possibility of conducting a workshop and a committee to discuss the contentious issues that arose during public consultations and also with the committee’s own deliberations,” Shumba said.

He said some of the contentious issues that came out from various stakeholders and also from public hearings include lack of clarity on the classification of strategic minerals.

“You will notice that we have strategic minerals that are listed in the proposed amendment, but there is no clear explanation as to how, where and why they listed only those and what the impact is now and in the future. We also don’t see the wisdom of putting this into an Act of Parliament,” Shumba said.

He said it would not be prudent to go to Parliament whenever a new strategic mineral was discovered.

Shumba said the composition of the mooted mining affairs board meant to handle disputes was not proper as civil servants who work for the ministry tasked with policing the industry would unlikely oppose senior officials, including the Mines permanent secretary, who will be chairing the board.

He said there was need to have an independent to ensure accountability.

On small-scale miners, Shumba said they were not really represented yet their contribution surpasses that of conglomerates, but the gold ends up being smuggled. He said small-scale miners’ operations should be legislated and protected.

He said the use it or lose it policy would be detrimental to the mining sector especially for huge corporates.

Shumba said restrictions placed on riverbed mining and the possible sentence provided by the Bill is outrageous particularly on small-scale miners.

He castigated the provision where government is allowed to mine.

“I believe the business of government is to govern a nation and not to try and be an entrepreneur,” he said.

PWYP co-ordinator Darlington Muyambwa said the meeting was organised with a view to understand and reflect on the current status of the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill so that they come up with a civil society advocacy and strategy on the Bill.

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading