An online petition requesting the Mines and Mining Development Minister to genuinely consult artisanal miners for their input in the Mines and Mineral Bill has surfaced online. The petition created by an individual or group called “Mining Forum” by the time of publishing had been signed by over 80.
The petitioner/s’s main contestation points are the right to access mining rights by ordinary citizens that are provided for in sections 20, 21, 23, 24, 26 & 27 of the Act, that they claim is to be repealed in the new bill.
“With reference to the above, we petition the minister to genuinely consult artisanal miners and for their input in the Bill,” read the introduction to the petition.
“Our understanding is that the Bill was sponsored by foreign powers whose loyalty to our nation is dubious and hence their desire to sideline miners. The Bill’s contents are against both indigenous miners and the spirit of liberation for which many sacrificed their lives. Of particular concern to miners, is Bill’s spirited efforts to take away mining rights (inclusive) and give them to a board which will grant the same to a favoured few as (exclusive) privileges ignoring the fact that this nation was founded by miners, mineral fabricators and exporters and therefore such act is in effect theft of the essence of our heirship to national heritage”.
“If the Bill passes, mining rights for artisanal miners are gone. We will have mining privileges granted to the well-financed players only. So it’s noble for us to help our own government to come up with a better mining policy. The right to access mining rights by ordinary citizens is provided for in sections 20, 21, 23, 24, 26 & 27 of the Act. The Bill proposes to repeal them and replace them with a board which will grant these rights to candidates whom it considers fit to mine. Let us put our signatures against this proposed Bill Amendment”
Recently the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) released a statement cautioning their members from being misled by a “Mines Bill” circulating online which the body says is not an official document.