via Report exposes abuses at Chiadzwa January 21, 2014 by Kenneth Nyangani NewsDay
CENTRE for Research and Development has released a report chronicling human rights abuses in mining areas of Chiadzwa while calling upon the ministry of mines to urgently amend the existing mining laws.
The report titled, Challenges and future prospects in the mining sector, raises questions of transparency and accountability.
“The new mineral policy must incorporate community rights and force companies to submit human rights impact assessment plans before mining operations,” reads the report.
“A human rights impact assessment plan protects the socio-economic and environmental rights of communities living in resource-rich areas in Zimbabwe.
“The report has shown that government does not have a regulatory framework to protect the rights of communities living in rich-resource areas including families affected by relocations as in the case of relocated families at Arda Transau, Chimanimani and Marange.”
CRD noted that the mining sector was still lagging behind on its projected revenue contribution to the fiscus.
“New laws to govern the mining sector must embrace World Bank’s Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative. The (EITI) is an international best practice in the extractive sector aimed at improving transparency and accountability in natural resource governance.
“The principles of EITI will allow companies and government to disclose revenue generated, taxes and payments made by mining companies in the sector. (EITI) will allow Zimbabweans to know how much the government is generating from the mining sector.
The organisation said the government should revive the Zimbabwe Mining Revenue Transparency initiative (ZMRTI) as a vehicle to operationalise the practice of EITI.
Through ZMRTI, CRD contends that Parliament and civil society could play an oversight role in discussing mining contracts and mining ventures on behalf of the State to ensure that they were done in a transparent manner.
The report also highlighted the need to review the mining contracts signed in the past 15 years to assess if they benefited the country and the communities.
It also calls upon the responsible stakeholders to align the mining laws with the provisions of the new constitution by reforming the access to information laws to allow public access to information and public scrutiny on all mining contracts and deals.