- September 17, 2019
- Posted in LOCAL
The government of Zimbabwe should work on the liberalisation of gemstone trading by creating an open market for stone buyers. The Chairperson of the Norton Miners Association who is also the sole registered gemstone buyer in Zimbabwe Privilege Moyo has said that this initiative will propel the government to gather enough information on which gemstones are mined in Zimbabwe and the tax issues involved.
Speaking to Mining Zimbabwe, Moyo said that if the gemstone business is liberalised, being fully owned by Zimbabweans through a registered open market, the country will witness substantial growth in the sector. Moyo has urged the government to relax some of its security measures until they acquire full knowledge of what is happening in the gemstone mining business.
“There should be an open market for gemstone buyers and sellers, the moment an open market place is established, the government will make it their fact-finding place, for now, they should relax all the securities on gemstones until they have enough information,” said Moyo.
According to Moyo, the government has placed too many securities on gemstone mining before the actual mining operations take place. The government should have a full account of what transpired in gemstone mining and thereafter draft procedures to be taken. Creating laws for products that are not in existence is merely surrealism.
“The government is controlling things that are not yet produced, they should first work towards the production of the stones then create a policy that is well informed, the securities made by the government are too much to the extent that they are not benefiting the nation,” Moyo said.
Moyo also said that there is no accountability for gemstones in Zimbabwe since all individuals who are buying gemstones are illegal buyers because there is no clear policy that allows individuals to trade in gemstones. Moyo said that it took him almost 2 years to acquire gemstone buying license from the Ministry of Mines.
“ There is no proper accountability for gemstones, as it stands, everyone who is buying gemstones in Zimbabwe are illegal buyers. The process to acquire that license was very burdensome for me” said Moyo
According to Moyo, the government should create only one centre of gemstone trading that is legal for all buyers and sellers without necessarily going to the mines to buy the stones, this will empower the local people to have knowledge of the stones.
“It is advisable for the buyers to buy at one central point, buying from mines would mean business for the locals’ agents or middlemen…the whole idea is to empower more local Zimbabweans to be involved in the mineral chain so that they realise the value,” said Moyo.
Gemstone mining issues have been in the mining discourse for almost 3 months with the locals selling the stones to buyers at a low cost, nevertheless, authorities are not sure on what to do to curb these unprincipled acts in the mining sector.