BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
ZIMBABWE’S small-scale miners, agitated by government’s attitude towards their input into the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill, have taken their issue to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The Bill came into the picture in 2015 and has taken over six years before being enacted into law.
In a letter addressed to Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe Prospectors Union (ZPU) president Samson Dzingwe expressed bitterness over being snubbed by the Mines ministry.
“All stakeholders were never consulted by the Ministry of Mines,” Dzingwe said.
“There have been sidelining and segregating of concerned stakeholders regards the Mines and Mineral Bill consultation,” he said in a letter dated April 4, 2022.
“Your Excellency Cde, Sir, in 2018, regards the Mines and Minerals Bill shortfall and pitfalls, we remain grateful that you rejected (it and returned it) to Parliament so the Ministry of Mines must consult all stakeholders and capture their valid concerns. Stakeholders have noted various shortfalls and pitfalls regards Mines and Minerals Bill. Unfortunately, we remain sidelined and segregated by our Ministry of Mines,” he said.
Dzingwe said stakeholder issues which were ignored included input on the cadastre system, and on exploration and prospecting rights issues.
The Bill lacked proper regulation on artisanal and small-scale mining.
“We remain grateful that in 2018 you rejected the (it) citing property rights and lack of capturing of all stakeholders’ valid concerns. It is my humble opinion that Ministry of Mines after your brilliance and wisdom in identification of shortfalls and pitfalls in the Mines and Minerals Bill, was supposed to capture all stakeholders’ valid concerns through public consultations, yet stakeholders remain sidelined,” Dzingwe said.
“It is our humble request that the Ministry of Mines involves all stakeholders before (the Bill) gets passed in Parliament,” he said.,
Dzingwe queried the contents of the Bill, especially clauses on exclusive prospecting and exploration licences.
He said the Bill was not clear on whether licences are a right or a title.
He also said the issuance of mining claims on the cadastre system was tantamount to red tape.
He added that the issuance of such licences was segregative in the sense that those fit and proper based on cadastre system discretion would buy licences.
“The cadastre board in the Bill created a bureaucratic system that will be worse that the current system. We are not against digital mining. We rather support it but the legislation on cadastre system in the Bill carries human elements thus we deserve much better than what has been crafted in the Bill without our input.”
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