BY STAFF REPORTER
Ministries, MPs and miners face grilling on mineral resource governance in the country at the 10th edition of the Zimbabwe Alternative Mining Indaba (ZAMI), which begins today in Bulawayo.
ZAMI, which runs till October 8, comes at a time when the country is said to be well-endowed with mineral resources such as gold, diamonds, platinum, and others, yet it is reeling in abject poverty due to poor resource management.
The indaba is being facilitated by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) and Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd).
Zimcodd said ZAMI would be primarily dedicated to amplifying community voices and asking #HOWFAR questions to hold duty bearers to account.
“Zimcodd is taking this year’s ZAMI as an opportunity to magnify demands for accountability on environment and social governance obligations of the mining sector on issues like the impacts of mining on climate change, water use, labour rights, health, safety, and corporate governance,” it said in a statement.
“Various issues that matter to communities include lack of meaningful consultation of communities during decision-making processes over natural resources, limited clarity of roles among local level institutions pertaining to authority and power over devolution funds, outdated development plans in rural districts, rising allegations of abuse of workers by mining companies including foreign-owned mining companies, limited environmental monitoring initiatives, and the increase in land and environmental degradation.”
It said issues such as gender-based violence, school dropouts, child labour, child marriages, sextortion and riverbed mining, among others, were deepening inequality in the country and needed policy clarity.
“ZAMI will ask #HOWFAR has been the progress towards formalisation of artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) in the country. The ASM gold sector contributed over 52% of total deliveries during the first seven months of 2021,” Zimcodd said.
“With an estimation of between 500 000 to 1,5 million artisanal and small-scale miners, there is need to ask questions on how this sector is managed.”