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More support to grow Zimbabwe's small mining sector

by Staff reporter
29 Jun 2023 at 06:25hrs | Views
SMALL-SCALE miners are at the centre of economic development in the country and Government will do everything possible to support them and improve their operating environment, President Mnangagwa has said.

In the quest to attain a US$12 billion mining industry, the President said all bottlenecks that include legislative gaps that impede the work of small-scale miners would be addressed as the country moves towards modernisation and industrialisation using various instruments.

The Head of State and Government said this yesterday during an interface with small to medium-scale miners under the banner, Miners for Economic Development (Miners4ED) in Gweru.

The event also drew a huge crowd of Zanu-PF supporters who came to show their support for the various economic measures being spearheaded by the Government, including in the mining sector.

"As small-scale miners, you are at the centre of the economy. Your Government is proud of you because statistics have shown that you contribute at least 60 percent of the revenue in the mining sector," said President Mnangagwa.

He said as part of rationalising mining ownership to achieve broad-based empowerment, no person will prospect for more than one mineral so that everyone benefits.

President Mnangagwa was responding to concerns raised earlier by miners that some people, particularly large-scale miners, were holding on to Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPOs), for speculative purposes.

EPOs confer exclusive rights to prospect for specific minerals in an identified location and allow investors to explore the country for minerals and produce bankable exploration results that can attract investors.

"We have discussed the issue of EPOs. Big companies have pegged a lot of land. We have asked the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to ensure that one cannot peg for more than one mineral. It is you as miners who are on the ground; present your concerns to the ministry who will bring them to us. We are ready to support you even if it means legislative improvement.

"We cannot let down a sector that is contributing more than 60 percent of revenue," said President Mnangagwa.

He said the various economic models implemented by the Second Republic were paying off given the several achievements registered that include attainment of food self-sufficiency in the agriculture sector and anticipated achievement of the US$12 billion mining economy by the end of this year.

In 2017, the mining sector was generating US$2,7 billion, but that has been steadily rising to US$5,4 billion last year.

Said the President: "Those with knowledge about Zimbabwe will not ask you how many minerals we have, but how many minerals we might potentially not have.

"We have got minerals sitting underneath. And hazviwore."

He said small-scale miners should conduct their mining activities in a sustainable manner and desist from violence.

President Mnangagwa said he had been informed that some miners were in the habit of displacing those who would have made a gold discovery.

"Munenge mavakudzinga vaya vadhuukirwa negold. Regai vadhuukirwa vachere or you work together," he said.

President Mnangagwa chronicled several measures the Government has taken to improve the economy which have paid off.

They include directing all State universities to set up innovation hubs whose main thrust is to do research through use of science and technology with Government support, and provide ways to address a given challenge.

"Our universities have been directed to do science and technology. We want transformative and practical education that produces a product and service to the people," said President Mnangagwa.

With the country under the yoke of illegal sanctions for the past 23 years, and consequently getting no financial support from multilateral agencies, the Government has mooted various ways to survive, anchored on innovation.

The Second Republic has paid particular attention to the use of domestic resources to modernise and develop the country.

Turning to the forthcoming harmonised elections, President Mnangagwa urged the miners to vote for Zanu-PF so as to preserve the country's heritage.

Speaking at the same occasion, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga urged party supporters and affiliates to bring more people to Zanu-PF.

He said it was critical that they support Government policies.

"So all of you as affiliates, you have a duty and role for the attainment of Vision 2030. Every one of you should bring at least 20 additional persons to Zanu-PF," said VP Chiwenga.

Zanu-PF Second Secretary and party Vice President, Kembo Mohadi, commended President Mnangagwa for steering the economy to growth.

Defence and War Veterans Minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who is also Zanu-PF National Chairman, said the revolutionary party was a tried and tested party and had drawn 90 affiliates.

The event was attended by Cabinet ministers, Members of Parliament, and Zanu-PF Politburo members who included National Political Commissar, Mike Bimha.

Source - The Herald