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ZELA Challenges Zimbabwe Government to Move Towards Transparency and Accountability in The Mining Industry

November 06, 2020

By Nevson Mpofu

ZELA Director, Mutuso Dhliwayo
ZELA Director, Mutuso Dhliwayo

Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [ZELA] takes Zimbabwean communities to levels of accountability and transparency through support of Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill. The Bill contains for the nation prospects of improving transparency and accountability in the Mining Secor as far as how minerals are managed for the sake of the general public.

Transparency and accountability contribute to economic recovery and good resource management. This brings stabilization and economic growth. This is in line with the Transitional Stabilization Program which is for vision 2030. Zimbabwe strives a $12 billion US Dollar mining industry with a strong economy by 2023.

ZELA Director, Mutuso Dhliwayo points it out that transparency and accountability take Centre stage to move towards economic recovery and good management of resources. In-order to reach a $12 US Dollar mining industry in line with vision 2030, protecting the nation from all forms of corrupt activities in the mining sector is crucial. The majority of people also needs to enjoy rights to mineral wealth, right to its information, right to share and distribution of wealth in the circle of community share ownership.

Speaking in Harare at  a Civil Society Organizations and Private Sector engagement on transparency in the mining sector in Harare , Mutuso said there is need for initiatives on  legislation and policy implementation to curb issues related to corruption which undermine the marginalized , poor and vulnerable communities .

‘’Transparency and accountability must take Centre stage for us to have economic recovery. Economic recovery and good management of our resources makes us move towards stabilization and growth. Zimbabwe ‘s vision 2030 is in line with this . However, a US $12 billion mining industry is reached through transparency and accountability.’’

 ‘’The issue of resource management and good governance is important as well. This makes communities   free to enjoy attainment of rights related to minerals management done fairly. The nation must be protected from all forms of corruption in the mining sector. This undermines the nation.’’

‘’People need to have access to mines and minerals management in the country. Secondly, the need to be disclosed information in relation to what they are supposed to get is important to the nation because everyone matters, communities count as well.’’

Zimbabwe has a bill that has gaps to be closed. This is in relation with mines and minerals transparency and accountability.  The bill according to ZELA has no strong provisions that ensure access to information. . Secondly, it does not have provisions for public disclosure of mineral mining agreements, license and concessions entered by the Government .. .

‘’There are gaps already identified that we need to close so that transparency and accountability is seen by all . Stakeholders must come together, work and have the equal right to knowledge and information in relation to mines and minerals.

‘’Africa’s Mining Vision must be clear in terms of mineral revenue and benefit to citizens. This is woven by initiatives that promotes transparency and accountability. There must be a basis like the need to look at the constitution, good governance, national objectives, policy implementation, legislation , combat corruption , stop abuse of office  , promoting public accountability and manage well financial matters.’’ He noted.

ZELA takes notes that volumes of mineral production and their payments must benefit the people at large. Identities of beneficial ownership of holders of mineral rights is crucial in building up on transparency and accountability.

ZELA Environmental Lawyer, shamiso Mutisi takes further a point that sustainability in information disclosure related to environment, social and economic reports by companies on Zimbabwe Stock Exchange is important and contributes towards transparency and accountability in the mining sector. He strengthens that initiatives must be built to move towards accountability and transparency through use of laws and policies to support this,

‘’ Disclosure of information on environmental reports by companies on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange is no doubt a sign of transparency and accountability. This goes well with the point that initiatives on transparency and accountability must be taken from the ground to raise up from the ground issues in the mining sector that affects communities impacted mainly by corrupt activities.’’ Said Mutisi

The objectives of the workshop increase awareness raising on EITI [Extractive Industry Transparency Initiatives among civil society organizations and private sector. It is important to build knowledge on the business case for EITI adoption. Secondly, to share information on strategies that can be used to improve engagement between CSOs and private sector on transparency in the mining sector.

The workshop took experiences from EITI adoption in Zambia on transparency and accountability in the mining sector. Audit issues in the Mining sector stand vital in the case of transparency and accountability as a whole.

1 comment

  1. Those are good recommendations in deed. The EITI standards, the audits and information disclosure on mining contracts is the way to go so that Zimbabwe as the whole nation benefit from the mineral revenues. Transparency and accountability must be the main drive force into this.

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