Industries that are directly linked to the mining sector are part of the mining industry and are exempted from operating during the lockdown, Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development chairperson Hon Edmund Mkaratigwa has said.
The Vice President and Health Minister Rtd Gen Constantino Chiwenga announced that the government has put the country on a tight lockdown once again opening business to only a few industries regarded as essential by the law.
Among the industries exempted from the lockdown is the mining industry which is making strides to become Zimbabwe’s Cash cow.
Confusion has been professed on what really is the mining industry with some suggesting that mining equipment suppliers during the last lockdown period were somehow threatened with arrest by the police for breaking the lockdown.
According to Hon Mkaratigwa, any industry that directly deals with the mining sector when it comes to the extraction of resources can not be shut down because this will be indirectly shutting down the mining sector.
The Chairperson on Mines and Mining Development said the Ministry of Mines will announce how the mining industry is going to be operating.
“It looks presumably clear that the mining industry implies the whole mining chain unless there are some who feed into the sector who don’t qualify to be part of the mining industry. The industry has been exempted and the various sector representatives have to follow-up if need be. As of now, business resumes with regards to the Mines Ministry and if there is a need for any further facilitative arrangements, the Ministry should be able to direct accordingly.” Hon Mkaratigwa said.
Meanwhile Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) has said it was in the process of putting out exemption letters in order to help miners travel safely during the lockdown.
The police in their statements have said they are going to be very strict on exemption letters for essential service workers who will be travelling. ASM miners are encouraged to get exemption letters from ZMF the largest miners body in the country which is the brainchild of the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development whose birth was marked to represent and contribute to the development and growth of small scale miners.