Small scale miners take Minister to task over bottlenecks

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By Alois Vinga

THE Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) Friday met the newly appointed Mines Minister and briefed him on the opaque challenges bedeviling the sector.

The sector’s miners contribute about 68% per annum towards total gold deliveries in the country, surpassing large –scale miners by a significant margin.

But in a meeting Friday with the recently appointed Mines and Mining Development Minister, Soda Zhemu the sector filed a myriad of challenges bedeviling operations.

The acquisition of Exclusive Prospecting orders (EPOs) which are being applied for speculative purposes and are now adversely affecting miners was one of the issues raised.

“Delays in the issuance of Mining Certificates have resulted in unwarranted disputes due to double and over pegging. Some miners are yet to get their certificates dating back to 2017-2023.

”Mash West is the worst affected followed by Mash Central. ZMF requested for the Minster to send a back-up team to help expedite the process. Our potential miners are now treated as illegal miners due to these delays,” ZMF said in a statement.

The miners group also raised concerns over the inconsistencies in the Rural District Councils taxing regimes which are exorbitant and lack consistency across the country.

ZMF urged the RDCs to be uniform and come up with a two tier taxing regime instead of a one size fits all.

Government was ordered to come up with the gemstone policy to plug massive revenue leakages in the sector.

Due to the gravity of the concerns raised an urgent meeting penciled for next week between the Mines Ministry and ZMF has been called for.

“After next week’s urgent meeting with the Mines Ministry officials, The ZMF President, Executive and Secretariat will embark on a nationwide tour addressing issues affecting our miners and donating equipment and acquired mining claims to our syndicates,”  added ZMF.