The Mining and Minerals bill is still in the drafting stage and in that process, all key stakeholders’ representatives have been involved, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development is now looking forward to an all stakeholder conference that will broadly incorporate all stakeholders, the Committee chairperson Edmund Mkaratigwa has said.
The Mines bill has of late attracted criticism from different stakeholders in the mining sector who had a feeling that its grafting has produced loopholes around consultation yet the committee is yet to conduct any public consultations.
Bills are drafted by Attorney General’s Office Drafting Section but they are instructed and work hand in glove with the responsible parent Ministry which in this case is the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development on behalf of the Executive. However, because the Bill was returned to Parliament, Parliament has become much involved in supervising the process to ensure issues raised by the President HE Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa are addressed in toto to avoid the previous eventuality.
Bill drafting is therefore in the domain of the Executive, the Ministry of Mines being the technical parent Ministry on issues of mining while the AG’s Office does the technical legal drafting, as Parliament collaboratively input and supervise efforts to ensure timelines are met.
According to the Parliamentary Portfolio on Mines and Mining Development Chairperson Hon Edmund Mkaratigwa the bill which is still in the grafting stage will be presented to an all stakeholders conference that will largely incorporate all stakeholders whose suggestions will be incorporated into bill after that it goes before the Parliamentary public participation and law-making processes.
“The all key stakeholders conference is coming and we have reiterated to that effect over and over again. No one will be left behind. The misconstrue came about from the fact the Kariba Workshop we had was jointly a result of a petition from ZELA that was calling on Parliament to quickly consider the Bill. We have received many requests for consideration for an invitation to the all stakeholders conference and, we will involve all key stakeholders and, some will also be engaged through the normal parliamentary legislative process.” Hon Mkaratigwa said.
The bill is looking forward to addressing the issue of informal mining in the small-scale sector by trying to regard mining even as artisanal level as a business, hence offering opportunities for growth, development, and formalization of the small-scale and artisanal mining sector.
Mkaratigwa said the bill was going to have a look on private property rights an issue that has created debates and public scrutiny because the subject created disputes and gold leakages due to informal mining which managed to penetrate in the chaos caused by misuse of private properties in mining.
“The main emphasis of the Bill is on private property rights which is the main contentious issue in the sector. Mining disputes have been rampant, environmental sustainability weak, and gold leakages rife as a result of informal mining which is being promoted even further by the thriving violation of land property rights and mining title. In that regard mining even at a small-scale level, will be taken as business hence would offer the opportunity for growth through easier support models.” Said Mkaratigwa.
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development Chairperson said the Bill is more of the parent mining law and it will address key aspects in the sector. The indigenization laws which previously bedeviled the mining sector is already amended and value addition which is already a government policy position is a particular issue that will broadly addressed as it is not best to target one aspect when legislating but creating an enabling environment.
“Value Addition is among the broader objectives of the Bill and that is also implied in creating an enabling business environment which this Bill and the New Dispensation, in particular, seeks to attain.
There are various policies and programmes for the promotion of value addition in the country and they are already being rolled out in support of both big and small scale mines, for job creation and, for minerals handling responsibility and accountability, curbing illicit financial flows and underreporting as well as for the unnecessary costs cutting.’’ he said.
SOURCE – miningzimbabwe.com