SMALL scale miners in Zimbabwe are officially producing more gold than large scale, however, the conditions on which small scale miners are operating need a lot of improvements.
By Dickson Rudairo Mapuranga
The miners are reportedly neglected by the government, many of them are denied opportunities to get funding the same way small scale farmers are getting through command Agriculture. Despite the fact that Zimbabwe Mining Federation (ZMF) which is a baby of Mines and Mining Development formed under the new Mines and Mineral’s Act, have mandate to monitor and supervise all artisanal miners and small scale miners, its hand in promoting small scale miners is limited and the government need to do a lot in giving ZMF relevance.
According to the chairperson of Chegutu District Small Scale Miners association Innocent Nicks, the government of
Zimbabwe need to start looking into mining laws, align them with the new constitution and make sure that the laws
are beneficiary to small scale miners in Zimbabwe, Nicks said that the government need to promote District associations so that small scale miners will have an improved working condition. Nicks believe that the government need to do seven things to promote small scale miners.
In order for district association to operate legitimately, there should be an interlink between Ministry of Mines, Zimbabwe Miners Federation and Districts Association. For proper service delivery, District Associations should be offspring of ZMF so does the ZMF, it should be a legit baby of the Ministry of Mines and Mining development. There should be a reporting system which build confidence in the affiliates of the district association.
Miners believe that the economy of Zimbabwe is to be revived by the mining sector, according to theoretical synthesis, development is a bottom up approach, and therefore small scale miners are the core to the growth of the mining industry. Thus, for anything to do with artisanal and small scale mines district associations should be on the fore front in their respective districts, and must report to ZMF and ZMF to Ministry of Mines apart from Ministry of Mines’ mandatory duties.
The minister of Mines and Mining development must be well aware of all district association and must engage
them a few times for rich information about small scale miners and the problems they would be facing since they
are the ones who are on the actual ground. There must be induction for the district associations so that the
executives will be able to articulate all the duties conferred to them by ZMF.
Duties and responsibilities of the association should be in line with the Mines and Minerals of Act for recognition
purposes. This alignment will definitely empower the associations so that they will efficiently and properly execute their duties and equally and fully represent the Miners. The duties and responsibilities of the associations must be clearly spelt in their constitutions as evidenced by the ZMF guidelines and duties and responsibilities and must be universal and uniform for all associations to avoid confusion and discord when implementing polices and regulations.
All small scale and artisanal miners and those who want to venture into mining business should comply with the set
conditions of the districts association thereby successfully formalizing all mining activities, thus, the that mining
sector will significantly contribute to GDP
Government intervention in the mining sector should be through associations, that is, all equipment and
financial assistance to the miners should be given through the respective district association hence giving them power, relevance and recognition to the association. All recommendations for the miners should be done by the
Ministry of Mines, ZMF and District associations should complement each other to achieve this formalization drive,
district associations should hand over matters that might be more complicated to them to the Provincial
bodies of ZMF who then should report directly to the national president of ZMF and the Minister of Mines and Mining development.
This article first appeared in the Mining Zimbabwe magazine December 2018 issue