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Mineral resource master plan crucial

By Business Reporter – Wednesday 1 September 2021

HARARE (Mining Index) – GOVERNMENT has been urged to put in place a comprehensive master plan before parceling out natural resources to ‘investors’ ensure socio-economic development of host communicates.

In the past, rural communities have suffered at the hands of so-called investors with no meaningful development or benefit from mineral resources.

Communities in diamond rich areas were resettled to pave way for mining.

More than 1300 families were forcibly evicted from Marange without compensation and dumped at Arda Transau which is more than 80km away.

According to the Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) no contract should be signed without a comprehensive master plan of how a proposed project is going to contribute to the socio-economic development of host communities and the country at large.

‘CNRG is not opposed to investments. However, we believe Zimbabweans must not be treated as squatters on their land for which thousands of our gallant forebearers died liberating,’ said CNRG.

CNRG noted that genuine investors must obtain a social license from local communities and extractive engagements should improve the quality of life of host communities.

Responsible authorities must put in place a master plan of how to plough back extractive profits in communities that bear the brunt of environmental, economic and social costs of these extractive projects.

‘Zimbabwe is witnessing the emergence of cartels and organized criminal groups that seem to enjoy State protection on the economic, social and political fronts at the expense of the country. The growing inequality gap between the ruling elites and the masses is unsustainable,’

‘Parts of the Marange community have been declared protected areas – a euphemism for taking away their civic liberties to secure diamond fields that continue to be plundered since government took over in November 2008, ‘

‘Diamonds worth hundreds of millions of dollars continue to be looted from Marange annually,’ said CNRG.  ENDS//  

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