- February 18, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube’s move for Zimbabwe to join the Extractive Industries Transparent Initiative (EITI) has been supported by both the mining and business community as a noble move that has the capacity to bring transparency in the mining sector.
Rudairo Dickson Mapuranga
Professor Ncube last year in his 2020 budget presentation in the National Assembly said that his ministry will allocate resources to ensure that Zimbabwe joins the EITI at the annual Mining Indaba which will take place this month.
The move by Ncube has reportedly received criticism from other cabinet ministers who referred to it as an unpatriotic move that will destabilize the economic independence of Zimbabwe by involving western tools and organisations to monitor the movement of our natural resources.
The criticism by cabinet ministers to the Finance Minister is believed to have emanated from the fact that EITI’s establishment was overseen by the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in an endeavor to address key governance issues in the extractive sectors. The cabinet ministers are therefore against the idea of Zimbabwe joining EITI because it is a western initiative.
However, stakeholders in the mining sector believe that it is fairly good for the country to join the EITI in order to bring in global standards that promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources. Zimbabwe Miners Federation Spokesperson Dosman Mangisi could not comment much to the idea of Zimbabwe joining EITI. Mangisi could just praise it and expressed that it was good for Zimbabwe to join the initiative.
“it is a good move” said Mangisi.
The mining community also slammed those who were against the idea of Zimbabwe joining EITI as a section of people who are corrupt and are therefore allergic to any idea that seeks about bringing in transparency to the mining community.
According to Renowned Geologist Kennedy Mtetwa, it is very absurd for any person wanting to hide public funds from the public and blocking a move that seeks to bring in transparency. Mtetwa said that it can only be corrupt individuals that want to hide public funds for personal gain that would block such a move.
“You must ask why any person is against transparency? What kind of person wants to hide public funds? What do you call such people? In short, they are corrupt” said Mtetwa.
Former president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) Sifelani Jabangwe said that it is of extreme importance for the country to join the EITI because it will benefit the government against unscrupulous businesses that have a tendency of not declaring their mineral production in full.
Jabangwe also said that joining EITI can help the country to know how much the government uses mining revenues because it has been a problem and no one knows what really happens to the funds Zimbabwe is getting from mining production.
“I am in full support of it for as long as it increases disclosure by mining companies of value being obtained from a country. For us I don’t think the major problem is with how our government utilises the revenues but it’s that of too much being siphoned out from the country” Jabangwe said.
The former CZI president also said that for Zimbabwe to join EITI, it will be of benefit to the citizens of Zimbabwe and also the government through a more transparent revenue declaration by mining firms and the government will then demonstrate its mandate by using the revenue for the good of the citizens of this country.
“The government has to also demonstrate it is using the returns from mining for the good of the citizens particularly those in the vicinity of the minerals. So it will benefit the government from more transparent revenue declaration by major mines but ultimately should benefit the citizens” the former CZI president Sifelani Jabangwe said.
However, it should be noted that the idea of bringing transparency in the mining sector in Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole can also be done by Africa creating a similar organization like EITI in order for the continent to protect itself from imperial fears that are associated with EITI.
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is the global standard to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources.
Guided by the belief that a country’s natural resources belong to its citizens, the EITI has established a global standard to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources. The EITI Standard requires the disclosure of information along the extractive industry value chain from the point of extraction, to how revenues make their way through the government, and how they benefit the public. By doing so, the EITI seeks to strengthen public and corporate governance, promote understanding of natural resource management, and provide the data to inform reforms for greater transparency and accountability in the extractives sector. In each of the 52 implementing countries, the EITI is supported by a coalition of government, companies, and civil society.
The EITI Standard requires information along the extractive industry value chain from the point of extraction, to how the revenue makes its way through the government, to how it benefits the public. This includes how licenses and contracts are allocated and registered, who are the beneficial owners of those operations, what are the fiscal and legal arrangements, how much is produced, how much is paid, where are those revenues allocated, and what is the contribution to the economy, including employment.
This article first appeared in the February 2020 issue of the Mining Zimbabwe Magazine