Government has urged small-scale miners to regularly inspect their claims and warned that it will not hesitate to forfeit mining claims from miners who will not do so.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
In a letter directed to Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines chief executive officer Isaac Kwesu and Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation chief executive officer Wellington Takavarasha, Mines and Mining Development secretary Onesimo Moyo said small-scale miners were violating mining regulations.
“Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is hereby bringing to your urgent attention that some of the miners under your membership are not inspecting their mining claims in terms of the Mines and Minerals Act (Chapter 21: 05),” part of the letter, which is also copied to Mines minister Winston Chitando, reads.
“The ministry wrote to them, advising them to inspect their mining claims in order to retain their mining rights. Some of the miners ignored both provisions of the law and the courtesy reminder letter from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development,” Moyo said.
In terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Moyo said the Mines and Mining Development ministry had an obligation to collect statutory mining fees revenue for the benefit of the citizens.
He said sections 260, 263 and 264, among others, of the Mines and Minerals Act (Chapter 21: 05) provided for forfeiture of mining tittles due to failure to obtain an inspection certificate.
“However, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development out of courtesy is, hereby, appealing to your organisations to advise your members on the importance of renewing their mining statutory fees, debts will be handed over to the Office of the Attorney-General for further management, even after forfeiture,” he said.
Moyo said government would not hesitate to enforce provisions of the Mines and Minerals Act (Chapter 21: 05) without further courtesy notice.
“In view of the above, may you please advise your members accordingly,” he said.
Contacted for comment, Takavarasha said: “We need them to comply and see the importance of paying those fees, but it’s a win-win situation. Both parties have to win. You have to see why people are not paying,” he said.