Bulawayo-Government has finally headed to calls from civic society to amend the Mines and Mineral Acts, considered an albatross to the sector, officials have said.
This was said by the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mineral Development, Fred Moyo at an ongoing national alternative mining indaba organised by Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA).
Civil society will anxiously wait to see if the new piece of legislation will to govern operations in the sector underpinning economic performance, will have a comprehensive approach.
Moyo said the draft Mines and Mineral Bill has left the Attorney General’s office for final debate in Parliament before it is made into law.
He also said the proposed law will integrate the African Mining Vision, regional mining vision and a national mining vision, which all call for the sustainable exploitation of natural resources.
“As we speak the Mineral bill just left the Attorney general’s office and will be presented to a cabinet committee and Parliament beyond which it will be enacted into law,” he said.
“I’m glad to say that our government is conscious of the recommendations from the African Mining Vision and the national vision that we seek to push will ensure good service delivery to the people.”
These remarks made by the Deputy Minster came in the wake of criticism of the current ‘notorious’ law by the President of Chiefs Council , Chief Charumbira.
Chief Charumbira questioned government’s sincerity to sanitize the mining sector to unlock value for tripartite benefits of communities, government and business.
“The notorious Mines and Minerals Act has been under amendment for too long while the communities continue to suffer from the negative impacts of mining. Government should move to do something about that piece of legislation,” he said.
Chief Charumbira also said there is need to create proper participation platforms for affected people to fully participate in the mining value chain.
He said it was disturbing that Africa, as a resource rich continent continues to wallow in poverty while other continents benefit more from her natural resources.
Zela director Mutuso Dhliwayo said there was need for the new law to be comprehensive in its approach to the mining industry to ensure beneficiation.
He said while government has already moved forward to amend the Mines and Mineral they made submissions which speak to various issues that continue to hamstring mining.
“It is our hope that this new law will also capture views of civil society as we have made submissions to government on this issue.
“It has always been our view that the Mines and Minerals act should be repealed in its totality because it is disabling sustainable mining activities,” he said.