BY NOMALANGA KABANZI/THOMAS CHIDAMBA
THE Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) has said development projects should not contribute to human rights violations.
The call by Zela follows widespread reports that several mining projects have resulted in human rights’ violations, and displacement of villagers.
Government was forced to reverse a Chinese granite mining project in Mutoko that would have resulted in the eviction of villagers following protests from rights’ groups.
“Often, these communities’ rights are violated by investors and State Owned Enterprises (SOE) operating in their localities and rarely do they find redress,” Zela executive director Mutuso Dhliwayo.
“It is against this background that Zela has a strong case that development projects must not contribute to human rights violations, but rather respect them by upholding environmental, economic, social and cultural rights of the citizens.”
Dhliwayo said Zela is engaging the government to formalise artisanal mining to ensure the sector legally contributes to the national economy.
“The organisation has highlighted the need to bring to finality the Mines and Mineral Amendment bill including ensuring that the Bill responds to the formalisation and regulation of artisanal mining,” he said.
“Zela has continued to call for the finalisation of the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill informed by the citizens’ aspirations. After several years of advocacy and lobbying, we hope 2022 will be a better year as far as finalisation of the Bill is concerned.”
Government targets a US$12million mining economy by 2023.