Zela pokes holes into Mines Bill

File pic: Mine

THE Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill currently before Parliament has been criticised for failing to include clauses that will effectively regulate mining activities.

In a statement yesterday, the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) said there is need for inclusion of the property rights regime in the Bill and to ensure that the country implements development-centred investments in the extractive sector.

The proposed amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act have roundly been criticised for failing to incorporate community representation, which has led to unsustainable mining practices.

The archaic 1961 legislation is being revised because it has no provisions to handle disputes over mining title, corruption in the mining sector, environmental degradation, human rights violations and revenue leakages in the sector.

In a consolidated Analysis titled: Analysis of the Mines and Mineral Bill HB10 2022, Zela said a comprehensive, regulatory, administrative and institutional mining framework was crucial to create a competitive investment environment for Zimbabwe’s mining sector.

“The mining sector presents the potential to catalyse economic growth and promote sustainable development. The problem is not in the extraction of mineral resources as the benefit of such extraction is without a doubt. The problem lies in the impact of the extraction owing to the legal and socio-economic framework within which the extraction takes place.”

Zela said the Bill should ensure that mining rights are conferred on applicants who have met set standards.

“The principles of contract transparency, environmental protection, community participation, community benefit and administrative justice should be paramount in the law governing Zimbabwe's mining sector.

“Participation of rights holders in decision-making in the mining sector is vital for good governance. This has also been identified as one of the ways to address corruption in the sector. The current Mines and Minerals Act does not provide for community participation,” Zela said.

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