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Youth NGO demands list of Matebeleland South EPOs

by Staff reporter
08 Aug 2019 at 07:55hrs | Views
A NON-GOVERMENTAL organisation, Community Youth Development Trust (CYDT), has petitioned government to release names of companies that were allocated Exclusive Prospective Orders (EPOs) in Matebeleland South, particularly in Gwanda, the hub of mining activities.

Ninety-five percent of mining land in Matebeleland South is under EPOs, making it difficult for new players to enter the mining sector.

CYDT's concerns arose after youth in mining failed to formalise their activities as most of the land is under EPOs.

In the petition handed over to the Mines and Mining Development ministry's provincial offices on Monday by CYDT programmes and information manager, Linda Mpofu, the organisation demanded that the office complies with the Constitution by providing the public with the list of EPOs in the province, their location and size.

"We recommend the provincial office of the Mines and Mining Development ministry to adopt policies and practices that take into account the need to be transparent and accountable to ensure that rights and interests of young people in mining are protected and adopt measures to redress problems around that," read the petition seen by Southern Eye on Tuesday.

"In the interest of adopting the extractive industries transparency initiative (EITI), the ministry office needs to avail information to the local citizens so that it's clear on who is working in the province for possible partnerships and collaboration towards the good governance of our local minerals."

CYDT said the Constitution of Zimbabwe provided for the protection of all citizens wherever they may be, and guaranteed every citizen's right to access information.

"Recognising the right of access to any information held by the State or by any institution or agency of government at every level, in so far as the information is required in the interests of public accountability, in sync with international legal instruments to which Zimbabwe is party. Cognisant of the right to freedom of information proclaimed under resolution 59 of the United Nations General Assembly and Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that the fundamental right of freedom of expression encompasses the freedom 'to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers'," CYDT wrote.

Government has reserved most mining land for EPOs which has made it impossible for new players, particularly artisanal miners to peg mines.

Last month, it said small-scale miners would be allowed to peg mining claims in areas that fall under EPOs. This is in line with new regulations currently under consideration.

Currently, the Mining Affairs board is considering applications of about 11 companies who applied for EPOs.

Some of the applicants include Canlite Mining Exploration (Pvt) Ltd, Infield Mining Exploration, Pearline Mining Exploration (Pvt) Ltd, DGL Investments, Zulu Lithium (Pvt) Ltd, Zimthai Tantalum (Pvt) Ltd, Primecraft Investments, Lambourne Limestone, Sinamatella Investments, Triminzim (Pvt) Ltd and RioZim.

The EPO applications that are under consideration are of minerals such as gold, diamonds, lithium and uranium.

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Source - newsday

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