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‘Govt sidelining mineral prospectors’

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BY CATHERINE MUCHIRI
MINERAL prospectors have accused government of sidelining them during consultations on the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill.

Zimbabwe Prospectors Union (ZPU) president Samson Dzingwe yesterday told NewsDay that the Mines ministry should listen to all stakeholders when crafting the Bill.

He said the current draft Bill omitted the issue of prospectors, yet they were important in digital mining and the cadastre system.

“We want to know how stakeholders will acquire mining rights. The mining cadastre system has a human element which will make decisions, whether to accept or reject mining certificate applications. This human element should be removed and the system must be left to work on its own,” Dzingwe said.

“Mineral disputes are bound to come up with the proposed legislation. The clause on strategic minerals is a vacuum and is ambiguous. It is not clear on what will happen to the people in the areas declared for strategic minerals. We need to be consulted so that we know and not live in uncertainty. The history of the people in Chiadzwa and Marange should serve as an example of why clarity on such issues is important.”

Dzingwe also said the Bill lacked clarity in the manner members of the Mining Affairs Board would be chosen.

“There should be a law that sets appointments on merit,” he added.

However, officials from the Mines ministry have insisted that consultations were done during drafting of the Bill.

The Bill is due to go to the Cabinet Committee on Legislation, before it is discussed by Cabinet and gazetted.

If successfully crafted, it will replace the 1963 Mines and Minerals Act.

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