MAC: Mines and Communities

Zimbabwe: Government excessively protective of mining sector

Published by MAC on 2015-11-02
Source: New Zimbabwe (2015-10-29)

MPs denied access to mines, govt excessively protective of mining sector, report

by Staff Reporter

http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-25735-MPs+denied+access+to+Marange,+report/news.aspx

29 October 2015

MPs are being denied full access to the mining sector particularly the goings on in the Marange diamond mines, Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) has reported.

CNRG said MPs have been excluded from mining decisions and it appears information is a preserve of the executive.

In its report which was launched Wednesday, the NGO said the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy was denied the right to exercise its oversight role on Marange Diamond Companies twice between 2010 and 2012 to conduct on-site enquiries.

“The committee was only granted entry into Marange in 2012, two years after the enquiry had begun but it failed to conduct a public hearing with the community living in Chiadzwa and was advised it was inappropriate due to security reasons,” read]

s part of the 2014/15 report on communities, campanies and conflict.

In some cases, company and government officials lied under oath whilst giving evidence at some of the hearings, as “there seemed to be a lot of influence by the Ministry of Mines in discouraging these mining officials from attending Committee hearings.”

“Apart from being denied access to Marange, the Committee was constantly mobbed by security agents during the three day encampment in Mutare,” added the report.

According CNRG, the excessive efforts to deny full access to the extractive sector has led to claims that the executive, including the highest office on the land, indirectly benefitted through fronting companies.

The Chrome report by the MPs in June 2013 corroborates evidence of corrupt issuing of licences to mining companies.

The committee met with seven Chinese Companies with only one of the seven confirming adequate documentation legalising its operations in the country.

“The rest of the companies were evasive on how they acquired legal authority to operate and during a field visit to one of the Chinese owned companies, Sanhei in Guruve, workers complained of labor abuses, low wages and long working hours”

Mutasa Central legislator Trevor Saruwaka who is in the parliamentary committee shared the same sentiments, saying security agents were being used by the executive to deny the legislature any access to the mining sector.

“Since 2008, many attempts to visit Marange Diamond fields have failed as efforts to get a permit from Home Affairs Minister have proved to be difficult,” Saruwaka told Newzimbabwe.com.

Saruwaka said diamond mining is shrouded in secrecy and, as such, communities were suffering at the hands of Chinese with government and senior politicians not paying attention.

The county’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased from 4% to 16.9 % between 2009 and 2013 and mining is now the leading foreign investment earner, accounting for more than 50% of foreign currency inflows.


Communities, Companies and Conflict in Zimbabwe

Yes to Life, No to Mining

3 November 2015

On behalf of our partner organisation, the Centre for Natural Resource Governance, we are pleased to share a new report on the conflicts occurring between mining companies and their host communities in Zimbabwe.

In most cases conflict has to be direct and violent for it to attract media attention. But in this report CNRG and their allies show that there are serious, indirect and yet life threatening conflicts in Zimbabwe’s extractive sector.

This structural violence which, according to Johan Galtung and backed by empirical evidence, is killing more people than violent conflicts. The recent mining boom was in reality doom for communities affected by mining as most of them never got to share the benefits though they paid the costs.

This report is part of on-going work to establish the causes and nature of conflicts between mining companies and their host communities in Zimbabwe and the search for lasting solutions. Comments and feedback are most welcome.

The report can be downloaded here

 

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