On Tuesday you might have probably bumped into our tweets from the Mining Awards Corruption Risk Assessment (MACRA) Training and Review Workshop hosted by Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) at Holiday Inn in Bulawayo. An eye opener as we got a feel of Zimbabwe’s mining challenges not all seems juicy for the million dollar industry.
Mining is good venture if done properly, it can sustain lives and develop communities. – Farai Mutondoro
It also became clear that as a nation not all of us know the number of rich mineral deposits we have as a country. We always think of those popular ones gold and diamond, the two have had a number of people dashing to.
We have read a lot about mining in Zimbabwe, the disputes that happen in some of the mining communities. The number of young people that get involved in violent mining battles that have left some with injuries and hospitalized. All this has been bought because of a number of factors both social, political and economical.
For a long time they have been known as “Omakorokoza” community have at times resented them but little do we know of their contributions to the GDP. This has even forced the government to set in motion a process to regularise artisanal miners’ operations in recognition of their contribution to the economy.
As the workshop unfolded we had them talk, we had them deliberate and this bought about five things that we hope will bring sanity to the sector and may give Zimbabwe a better financial standing.
1. Licensing of Mining Claims In Zimbabwe
“Mining licenses are a challenge” one participant had to say, not only do you deal with one institution but many others. Above all the exorbitant fees that come with the applications. We hope the government can take our call and make easier for us as some of us are still new in the business we need to be given a better chance as we try to find our feet.
This has often led to corruption activities happening in some of the offices as kick backs to get this important mining documents become a norm.
2. “Adapt or die” Everything needs to be online
Once upon a time we attended a digital media workshop at this workshop those who were anti-digital media were told to either adapt or die. The world is revolving so should be any business, the participants highlighted a hope of everything being done online having the business of mines being easily accessible in the world wide web. “We need to know who owns what, where and how, we need to get the registration simple available online. We just want the ease of doing business without spending time moving from one office to another.”
We loved how the participants were energetic about this part it made us realize that we are not the only ones with a hope of having every Zimbabwean product easily accessible online.
3. Gender Imbalance
Although we loved the number of women who were in attendance at the workshop, one participant from Bubi highlighted how the industry was male dominated and how women turn to be abused. Those who work t the mining claims are men and the moment a women get involved a lot happens, abuse becomes rampant and this leads to them being pushed out of business.
“As women we have been disadvantaged as mining is a male dominated industry from the miners to even the buyers themselves which is a bit risky for us as women and we generally become disadvantaged” highlighted some of the female participants.
4. 45/55% USD & Local Currency Ratio In Prices
Pricing In Zimbabwe has been a challenge in the last 3 years, the introduction of the bond note against the USD has left many wondering. It has caused uncertainty to many business players. The miners have bemoaned this as another key sticking point , they get some of the money in local currency which affects their hopes of buying equipment as most of the pricing is done in hard currency. The other concern has been on the real value of the minerals after the sells.
5. The Involvement Of the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development representative Mr..Ngulube was in attendance and was listening all the queries made by the miners. “There is a desire to reform and become a one stop shop that allows those seeking licenses to experience the ease of doing business as opposed to the current status of multiple offices and procedures before you can even get a mining claim.”
The involvement of the ministry as implementers of government policy, they derive their mandate from government as such good institutional and policy reforms will see them operating in a such better mannerism.
As the workshop ended we loved Bubi Women In Mining Association their passion and determination it is our hope that such awesomeness wont be stopped either by corruption or high costs of doing business,we want to see them strive.
Transparency International Zimbabwe will on Thursday 8 August 2019 host an Anti-Corruption Indaba In Bulawayo at the Holiday Inn, the aim of the Indaba is to encourage and influence multi stakeholder non partisan, development and human rights centered anti-corruption discourse in Zimbabwe.