Small-scale miners petition minister over Minerals Bill

Small-scale miners petition minister over Minerals Bill
Published: 07 May 2018
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Miners (CZM) and Small Scale Miners of Zimbabwe have petitioned Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando and Parliament over Mine and Minerals Bill of 2015, which they say is flawed.

Speaking during a Small Scale Miners meeting in Kwekwe last week, CZM president Mr Rangani Chauke said the Bill did not contain the views gathered during consultations by the Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy led by Norton legislator Themba Mliswa.

Mr Chauke said the Bill, which has reached final stages of being passed into law, was flawed in many ways and needs serious re-alignment.

"The Bill is porous and we wonder where the views that we contributed are, it contains clauses that we as miners did not agree on.

"We attended most of the consultations that were carried out around the country, but the contents of the Bill totally differ from our contributions," he said.

Chief among the list of the irregularities, he said was the issue of farmers being allowed to play a major role in the allocation of mines.

According to the Bill, farmers were awarded powers to sign for a miner to get a prospecting licence to conduct mining activities at the farm.

But Chauke contends that farmers should be excluded from the process as they are interested parties and the powers should be solely vested in the President as before.

"We only knew that if a farmer has less than 100 hectares, that is when he comes in and not every farmer who so wishes, it creates disharmony," said Mr Chauke.

Mr Chauke says the composition of the board also left a lot to be desired.

"The inclusion of the permanent secretary and his principal directors is tantamount to red tape. They now have discretional powers, which were previously held by the President. There are sinister motives behind this. Those are the issues we want addressed," he said.

"We totally reject this Bill and we want it to be rewritten to include our contributions. Mining should be apolitical and should benefit everyone," he said.

Mr Chauke said giving farmers powers would promote disputes that were already in existence between farmers and miners.

"About a quarter of productive mines in the country are in dispute.

"We want the Bill to be re-aligned to help solve these disputes because it will help incubate these disputes," he said.

"We are the pillar of the economy.

"About 54 percent of the national GDP comes from mining. So we should be a priority."

Chauke said the petition would be handed over to the Clerk of Parliament.
- zimpapers
Tags: Miners,


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