Minister wades into miners’ wrangle

BY MISHMA CHAKANYUKA

Mines minister Winston Chitando has thrown his weight behind the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) leadership of Henrietta Rushwaya, urging her rivals to discuss their leadership wrangle out of
court.

Addressing journalists in Harare on Monday, Chitando said leadership issues at the small-scale miners’ federation that are currently pending at the courts must be resolved through dialogue.

“There has been a court challenge by one of the members of the association and subsequent to that, there was also an appeal to the matters. It is important that the ZMF leadership issues should not be resolved in court. We would like to see leadership issues being resolved by parties coming together and resolving any differences which may have arisen,” he said.

The Zvishavane-Mberengwa Mining Association (ZMMA) was challenging the election of Rushwaya at the courts and recently won a High Court case, but it has since been challenged at the Supreme Court.

The association tried to stop Rushwaya from acting as ZMF head, but the bid flopped after the courts said since the matter had been appealed at the apex court, it was improper to bar her from exercising her authority.

Chitando said ZMF should consider the interest of the federation to resolve their burning issues.

“In my capacity as patron, I’m appealing to the membership of ZMF to put the interest of the federation first and resolve any issues which may be there, and I will engage with these parties and move forward,” Chitando told the Press briefing, which was attended by Rushwaya and her team.

He said the mining sector was still aiming its target of producing 40 tonnes of gold in 2019 regardless of the challenges it has been facing since the beginning of the year.

“There were some measures which were announced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to try and address the competitiveness of the sector and further measures along those lines are to be considered, but the 40 tonnes target is still there. We will continue to review what has to be done to achieve that target,” Chitando said.

He said the current electricity situation in Zimbabwe has not yet affected the sector because the power generation was still meeting the miners’
needs.

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