By Midlands Correspondent
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has expressed optimism small scale mining activities by artisanal miners commonly referred to as makorokoza will provide the much-needed boost to the country’s ailing economy which is battling myriad challenges.
He was speaking at the inaugural Zimbabwe Miners Federation AGM for small scale miners in Gweru on Wednesday.
Mnangagwa said the small scale miners must be given liberty to pursue their activities without any hindrance by the state but was quick to say these must be within the confines of the law.
“The mining sector as a whole, continues to anchor economic recovery and growth.
“The sector contributes about 13% of the GDP, more than 60% export recipients and attracts more than 50% of Foreign Direct Investment,” said the President.
He added, “Small scale miners are playing a significant role in economic development and they must not be hindered in their activities though it must be within the confines of the law.
“Though I appreciate the contribution from other sectors, the contribution that is coming from mining is highly invaluable.
“The economy will improve and we will achieve vision 2030. The road might appear bumpy, but we will get there.”
The Zanu PF leader’s assurances come at a time nearly every sector of the economy is on its knees with government policies blamed for the misfortunes.
In his address, President Mnangagwa said “the bulk of our mining sector potential remains untapped.”
“Government realises the major challenges facing the operations of the artisanal and small-scale mining sub-sector with regards to limited access to investment finances.
“We should continue to accelerate the modernisation and regularisation of artisanal and small-scale miners which should in turn increase the prospects to access investment finances,” he said.
Mnangagwa further said the modernisation and mechanisation of the sub-sector through the acquisition of appropriate mining equipment to increase output and productivity shall remain one of the key areas in which government will assist.