A local organisation has launched a campaign to enhance community benefit sharing from mining revenue.
Launching the program during the ongoing Zimbabwe Alternative Mining Indaba (ZAMI), Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Zimbabwe coordinator Joyce Machiri said the program aims to crystallize advocacy work based on imperial research which shows gaps in community benefits from natural resource extraction.
Machiri said the main launch will be complementary to research findings on a study of transparency and accountability legislation and policies in the mining sector.
She noted that the campaign will ensure greater advocacy and lobby work to push for community participation in revenue generation and distribution from the lucrative mining sector.
"Transparency and accountability are key facets of just, equitable and sustainable exploitation of natural resources, which entail community sharing revenue from the extraction of finite natural resources, said Machiri.
"The benefit-sharing campaign on transparency and accountability is critical at this point in time we are running this to mainly inspire mining revenue transparency and sharing in the extractive sector in Zimbabwe.
"We aim to lobby and advocate policymakers to review benefit-sharing laws and policy frameworks in Zimbabwe.
Machiri noted that they seek to raise awareness in government on the gaps of mineral revenue transparency and benefit-sharing legislative framework and also mobilize CSOs and communities to support the campaign to ensure that the mining sector benefits all.
She said the strategy will enhance advocacy work policy in the sector around community participation in mining revenue generation and distribution as the economic development of the country is underpinned by the mining sector.
"We have done a study on community benefit sharing looking at the situation in Zimbabwe and we realised that there is need for us to run with a campaign on issues of community benefit sharing basing on our mineral endowments.
"Economic recovery is anchored on mining, there are issues to do with corruption, illicit flows and mismanagement of financial revenues which is costing the citizens from befitting from mining proceeds.
"We also have weak legal, institutional and policy framework that is not very strong in promoting issues of transparency and accountability in the mining sector," she said.
Farai Mutondoro coordinator of African Institute for Environmental Law added that the existing legal and policy framework shows that there are robust laws which can enhance transparency, benefit sharing and accountable management of natural resource revenue.
Mutondoro led research 'A critical analysis on the existing legal and policy provisions on transparency and accountability in the Zimbabwean mining sector' Policies are policy gaps a research consultant for the study
He said the framework of the laws should leverage on the avenues provided by international transparency initiatives, utilize data for greater impact advocacy, capitalise on the political capital and provisions empowered by international and regional treaties like the African Mining Vision (AMV).
Parliament threw its weight behind the initiative with the Budget Finance Parliamentary Portfolio Committee saying such initiatives bring impetus to the representative work of parliament to ensure communities benefit.
"This is a noble initiative, as Parliament, we need to partner such campaigns and take a leading role in such campaigns so that we move the agenda to deal with transparency and accountability.
"We need to include what emanates from such initiatives and the platforms like ZAMI and input contributions into the budget processes, as we start the process of the 2021 budget," said we need Felix Mhona, chair of the portfolio committee on budget finance.
Publish What You Pay (PWYP)Zimbabwe Alternative Mining Indaba (ZAMI)