By Staff Reporter
MINES Minister Winston Chitando has invited scorn from the Zimbabwe Prospectors after sidelining them in ongoing Mines and Minerals Bill Consultations.
Zimbabwe Prospectors Association president Samson Dzingwe slammed Chitando for the segregation.
“We are surprised to hear the minister saying nobody will be consulted except ZMF and Chamber of Mines. That is a big problem.
“Why is the minister forcing people to affiliate to associations which do not represent their interests.
“Why should the Zimbabwe Prospectors Association be forced to affiliate to ZMF when we are technical professionals. We are not mines, why should we affiliate to a miners association when we are not miners,” he told NewZImbabwe.com.
He added that Chitando was not only being unfair but also segregating.
“That is very unfair, unconstitutional, segregating, uncalled for, because our constitution does not force people or associations of a certain group to affiliate to a certain group so that they can contribute to national affairs,” he said.
Dzingwe said as an association, they not only have a right to association but must also be given a platform to make contributions to the bill.
“To associate or disassociate is a constitutional right; it must not be forced on people. When and how a minister forces people on their own constitutional rights to associate with certain associations, so that those people can be heard; that raises eyebrows,” he said.
“It becomes questionable the conduct of the minister. Is the Mines and Minerals Bill a private and personal issue or it is an issue of public and national interests,” he said.
Dzingwe added, “If it is a public issue, it must be open to the public, because all Bills must go through public consultations. There is no reason at all to go through a private consultation.”
He called on the minister to be inclusive in the consultations.
“The consultations are not inclusive, they are sidelining other stakeholders because they are being done in a bottleneck way.”
Dzingwe added that if the minister continued sidelining other critical stakeholders, they would be left with no choice but to approach the President.
“We use every available means for us to be heard. We will take the issue to parliament. If it means going to the highest office in the land, we will do so. There is no way a law can be crafted without people’s input.”
Dzingwe in 2018 wrote to President Emmerson Mnangagwa expressing his reservations on the Bill.
The Bill failed to get the Presidential assent and had to be sent back to the public for consultations.