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Zimbabwe's small scale miners take Minister to task over bottlenecks

by Staff reporter
01 Oct 2023 at 02:25hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) convened with the newly appointed Mines Minister on Friday to discuss the complex challenges afflicting the sector.

Annually, the sector's miners contribute approximately 68% of the total gold deliveries in the country, surpassing large-scale miners by a substantial margin. However, during the meeting with the recently appointed Mines and Mining Development Minister, Soda Zhemu, the sector presented a multitude of issues hindering its operations.

One of the highlighted problems was the misuse of Exclusive Prospecting orders (EPOs) for speculative purposes, which is now adversely affecting miners. The delayed issuance of Mining Certificates has also led to unnecessary disputes due to double and over-pegging. Some miners have yet to receive certificates dating back to 2017-2023, with Mash West and Mash Central being the most severely affected regions. ZMF requested the Minister to deploy a support team to expedite the certification process, as these delays have led to potential miners being treated as illegal miners.

The miners' group also expressed concerns about the inconsistent taxing regimes imposed by Rural District Councils, which are both excessive and lack uniformity across the country. ZMF urged the RDCs to establish a two-tier taxing system instead of a one-size-fits-all approach.

The government was urged to develop a gemstone policy to address significant revenue losses within the sector.

Given the seriousness of the issues raised, an urgent meeting between the Mines Ministry and ZMF has been scheduled for next week.

"After the upcoming urgent meeting with Mines Ministry officials, the ZMF President, Executive, and Secretariat will embark on a nationwide tour to address the challenges affecting our miners. Additionally, they will donate equipment and acquired mining claims to our syndicates," added ZMF.

Source - NewZimbabwe