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‘Politics shrouding natural resources governance’

THE Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) has claimed that the administration of public resources in the country was shrouded in politics, which it claimed was detrimental to national development and growth.

It said following a study on natural resource governance in the country, it concluded that citizens in areas endowed with natural resources were not consulted at all on decisions to do with how these should be managed.

“The paradox of high levels of poverty and underdevelopment in resource rich communities was a reality in most communities in Zimbabwe,” Zimcodd  said.

“This can be traced to lack of transparency and accountability in revenue proceeds from the resource extraction in those communities. Mining companies have also fleeced communities with corporate social responsibility initiatives, which are usually nothing compared to the value of resources extracted in those communities.”

For instance, the Zimcodd report said Lupane was endowed with timber resources which were being exploited by the Forestry Commission, with truckloads seen leaving the area, yet the area had not benefited.

In Hwange, Zimcodd said the area had vast coal resources and wildlife, yet the district remained poor.

In Mutasa area, it said it was also rich in gold deposits, yet there was illegal gold trading by the political elite manipulating the system with the community not benefiting.

It recommended capacity building of citizens so that they could effectively participate in natural resource governance issues and in budget processes in order to take government to task. Newsday

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