Zela launches property, mining rights report


THE Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) has launched a study to analyse the property rights regime and the regulatory framework in the country.

The study calls for a legislative framework geared towards development-centered investment in the extractive sector.

Speaking at the launch of the study in Harare, yesterday, a Chamber of Mines representative David Matyanga said there was a need to strengthen existing laws to protect property rights.

“The role of the institutional framework is applying the law that is already there, however there are gaps that now suggest there is no law. There is a need to amend the Mines and Minerals Act to address several deficiencies and come up with a policy recommendation,” he said.

The study will examine the extent of mining investment protection in Zimbabwe as well as the role of property rights in natural resource management.

“The nature of the constitution calls for investment in the mining sector to be sustainable and done in a way that allows for Zimbabwe to develop itself into a prosperous nation,” the study read.

“However, legislation alone is not sufficient to guarantee an influx of investment in a manner that is desirable or beneficial to Zimbabwe, there is need for policy consistency.”

The study added: “Investment prospects in the mining sector are very lucrative, Zimbabwe offers a wide range of minerals that can be exploited. What is now needed is to create the normative framework to ensure that this is done in a sustainable manner.”

The study further proffers recommendations on a suitable policy and legislative framework aimed at encouraging mining investment whilst promoting egalitarianism in the natural resources sector in Zimbabwe.

“The greatest challenge now is the absence of a stand-alone Investment Act for the mining sector. While the ZIDA Act may provide a comprehensive cover for most investment activities, it does not necessarily deal with mining concerns at that level that would achieve the purpose of mining investment law,” part of the study read.

“The recommendations call for reform in four levels, the process of investment agreements and their specific provisions; community benefits sharing; dispute settlement arrangements and alignment between the investment policy and the environments.”

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