Govt urged to charge mining investors a fee for land reclamation

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By William Milas

GOVERNMENT should consider introducing a levy on mining prospectors to be used for land reclamation, Parliament has heard.

Contributing to submissions at a public hearing by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines held in Kwekwe last week, a miner, Silas Chaduka blamed the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) for sleeping on duty.

“The Mines and Minerals Act is a wonderful piece of legislation that is only lacking implementation. People just prospecting and mining as they see fit without any ramifications because the implementation of law is very weak,” Chaduka said.

He said Zimbabwe is losing its beauty at an alarming rate due to mining.

“The rate in which we are losing our environment is quite alarming. It is like we don’t have an environmental agency in place.

“What we must have in place as law is a security deposit fee from investors which we will use for land reclamation after the investors might have left the country.

“Otherwise if we are to continue with the business as usual approach, the situation will be worse when it comes to siltation, soil erosion and other forms of land degradation,” Chaduka told the committee chaired by Dumezweni Mawite.

Chaduka called for consistent and serious enforcement of laws to plug leakages in the mining sector.

“We must fine-tune enforcement and monitoring so that it must be watertight. The leakages are caused by lack of enforcement. It’s sad that we have security state organs but we continue to have such challenges.

“Every grain of gold extracted in this country must be accounted for. We have to harness every mineral resource in the country. There is need for monitoring, enforcement and accountability,” the mining expert said.

Another miner Evans Kadenhe said Zimbabwe is losing a substantial amount of gold to the Chinese.

“We need serious security and scrutiny when it comes to investors in the country. I want to draw your attention to the Chinese investors. The Chinese are not only looting our gold but there are also not accountable.

“There is need for security and transparency. The Chinese don’t build permanent structures but there only loot and leave our land in a mess,” Kadenhe said.