Zimbabwe: Mines Ministry Ready to Embraces Transparency Initiative

5 December 2019

The Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development is readying itself to adopt the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) by setting up a mining cadastre office, an official has said.

Ennocent Murapah, Human Resources Officer in the Ministry of Mines made these remarks while addressing a Public Finance Management indaba organized by Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) recently.

Murapah said government pressed upon by civil society, is in the process of setting up cadastre offices at all levels to develop a comprehensive structure which can then put the country on a better position to join the EITI and curb illicit financial flows rampant in the sector.

He said despite political resistance government has forged ahead with setting up structures for cadastre officers as well as a Director of the cadastre office, to enhance transparency in the sector.

"The whole issue of ETI surrounds the secrecy that was on the issue of mining claims that's why the EITI has been raised by civic society as a solution, and as government we have acceded that this is the position that we are perceived from.

"The whole concept met a lot of resistance because of transparency that it brings to the mining sector, most people do not want to be known who is doing what and how in the mining sector.

"We are now currently implementing reforms on the structure side of the issue of EITI, which was the missing link even if we were going to implement, we needed that structure to ensure that we are able to implement it fully.

"Fortunately for us we have currently set up a post of Director in terms of cadastre, we used not to have that portfolio, and it speaks to the aspects of implementation, over years we have faced challenges in implementing the cadastre system.

"The aspect of structure has been cascaded down to provinces, we now have cadastre officers and technicians to make sure that we can implement the cadastre system," said Murapah

Tafadzwa Chikumbu, ZIMCODD Socio-Economic Analyst said government does not have any motivation to implement reforms as the mining sector thrives in secrecy.

He said delays in implementing amendments to the Mines and Minerals Development Bill, stretching over five years, betray the lack of political will to reform the mining sector.

"There is no motivation on the part of government to make reforms which promote transparency in the mining sector, because traditionally this a sector that thrives in secrecy.

"We have gone for five years with the Mines and Mineral Bill in the state of being a mere bill because the extractive industry or mining sector is one sector that thrives in secrecy, where information is not shared, that's its nature.

"Natural resources are political, and for Zimbabwe, we say let's have a Mines and Minerals Act first because the commitment was made, the policy was drafted in the new form but its failing to see the light of the day," said Chikumbu.

He added, "It's because of the nature of the sector that we are dealing with, and we could go another year without the signing of the EITI."

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