By Anna Chibamu
RECENTLY appointed provincial mining directors have little knowledge of the industry and bring no value to it, the Small Scale Miners Associations has said.
The association was giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines regarding the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill.
According to the small scale miners, the current law regulating the industry has no loopholes but it is the personnel deployed by Minister Winston Chitando that needs to do their work more professionally.
An expert in the sector Samson Dzingwa told the committee that the current chaos in the sector was brought by Chitando’s decision to replace provincial mining inspectors with directors.
“The current law is the best piece of legislation we have in the whole region so far. No changes are needed. Can someone tell me what the reasons for changing this law are? I want to believe this law is being proposed by people who have other agenda,” Dzingwa said.
A miner, Isaac Mutema said the proposed law gives farmers on which claims are located too much power and authority.
“For a 100 ha farm or above, a miner has to notify the farmer to get a written consent. The problem is some people have their interests. Pegers are not causing problems in this country. The Minister of Mines himself is causing disputes.
“The Ministry removed competent people. Why should we change laws, for what? We do not need a new law. The Ministry’s maps are not updated, torn maps everywhere. We have these provincial directors failing to solve disputes which are taking too long to be resolved. Do we need a new law to implement the Act?” Mutema said.
Committee chairperson and Shurugwi South MP Edmond Mkaratigwa however intervened reminding the miners that there should be a separation of powers between the legislature and the Executive as not all discussions and proposals made during deliberations are incorporated by the government.