THE Zimbabwe Environment Law Association (Zela) has called for strict financial mechanisms monitoring procedures in the draft Mines and Minerals (Amendment) Bill set to go for public hearings soon.
Source: Bill should plug leakages in mining sector: Zela – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 21, 2016
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Speaking at a media sensitisation workshop on Thursday, Zela researcher, Tinashe Chisaira said there was need for the introduction of measures to plug leaks that have seen Zimbabwe losing billions of dollars in the extractive sector.
“The Bill should provide for disclosure of mining contracts and financial statements because sometimes we see opaque statements being released by mining companies. We want clear mechanisms to authenticate the documents we receive from investors,” he said.
“We want the Bill to cater for compulsory disclosure of payments that are made by the miners be it to the government, their expenses and subsidiaries or holding companies, which might be outside the country. These are some of the numerous mechanisms that can be put in place to fight illicit financial flows.”
Since President Robert Mugabe made revelations that $15 billion was lost from the diamond sector, some companies mining in Chiadzwa have now been exposed for syphoning large sums of money outside the country.
“The Bill must come up with provisions to deal with matters of transparency and accountability because this nation is facing various economic challenges,” Chisaira said.
“We just heard the President speaking about the $15 billion that disappeared due to obscurity in the mining sector, so we feel that a new Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill should really make provisions for transparency and accountability in the extractive sector.”
Darlington Muyambwa, representing the Publish What You Pay initiative said: “We want the law to reflect on the African mining vision. We also want the mineral powers to be vested in the State, whereby, Parliament will play an oversight role.”
He said they are also pushing for the prioritisation of environmental impact assessments before granting mining licences, ensuring the rights of women are fully protected and rights of mining communities are protected.