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Insiza Trust to benefit women miners – Kundai Chikonzo

By Business Reporter – Wednesday 10 March 2021

LOCAL – HARARE (Mining Index) – A LEADING miner and businesswoman Kundai Chikonzo says she has registered a Trust aimed at capacitating and empowering women miners in Insiza.

Insiza Women in Mining Trust (IWMT) seeks to advance the development of underrepresented communities and its people through mining activities; involve and retain diverse minorities in the mining and related industries by providing opportunities for employment, networking and professional development.

Kundai Chikonzo

‘I have registered a Trust for women in mining called Insiza Women in Mining Trust (IWMT) and currently looking for funds. I have submitted a few applications to donors,’

‘The idea of registering a Trust was born out of a survey of small-scale mining in the area, where we observed the need for milling facilities to boost gold production,’ said Chikonzo.

IWMT serves to enhance the participation of women in mining, cater for persons with disability (PwDs), provide opportunities for community growth and as well as educating children.

The organization is also premised on empowering women owned mines in the sector focusing on economic sustainability, community development and growth.

Educating women in Insiza on the impact of land degradation

 The need to provide resources for women in mining is primarily hinged on the following objectives:

  1. To capacitate women in formalizing their mining operations, enabling them to contribute back to their communities, whilst specially focusing on uplifting the girl child as well as the youth within their communities.
  2. Promote and educate women on environmentally sustainable practices so as to protect them, their communities and the environment from the use of mercury as well as protecting the natural resource environment.
  3. Community development focusing on establishing a community center to foster the growth, education and development of children while their mothers concentrate on mining activities. 
  4. Empowering the social and cultural contexts of women in mining using various organizations.
  5. Promoting the preservation of heritage and history of mining within underrepresented mining communities.

‘My mission is to have a training school in Insiza District that will provide training to women inspired to become business people within the mining communities, train them on safer mining methods, identifying opportunities within the mining industry and empower the girl child and the disabled,’

In empowering people with disabilities, Kundai Chikonzo also employees a disabled employee, a hard worker who does all the work using one hand. He can do everything except pushing a wheel barrow.

She said her aim is to increase knowledge and skills on safe mining and processing techniques and contribute to the ever-increasing cases of health and safety problems of women.

Chikonzo said most women miners settle in very poor traditional housing conditions, living in make‐ shift accommodation   near within mining sites and rivers to avoid long travel to work and to protect their land/leases from thieves and invading miners. 

‘These shelters hardly offer comfort and protection from bad weather conditions, yet they will be with children, risking landslides, floods and thieves,’ she said. 

Mining sites are located in very isolated and dangerous geographic settings. Some mining activities are done next to homes, villages and near public infrastructure such as roads, bridges and power lines.

Chikonzo said she was inspired to venture into mining after she registered a consulting firm, Chee Tee Consults private limited in 2014 offering consultancy services, specializing in company registration, bookkeeping, tax advisory, monitoring and evaluation, project proposals and project management.

‘I have been doing consultancy in terms of mine registration and mine returns that is when I developed interest in mining.

Chikonzo who has a strong financial background, holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting from Great Zimbabwe University.

She also attained a Diploma in Tax Technician from the Institute of Certified Tax Accountant.

She also holds an Executive Certificate in Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation from Catholic University.

She also obtained a Certificate in Fundamental Mining from Zimbabwe School of Mines (ZSM) and a Certificate in Business and Human Rights from Mocc Global Fund. ENDS//

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