PARLIAMENTARY Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development chairperson, Mr Edmund Mkaratigwa has said the draft Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill should be tabled in the legislative assembly during the first session of Parliament.
He said the Bill should be among the key priorities during this session of Parliament.
This comes as the sector is currently being governed by the Mines and Minerals Act of 1961, which has been described by stakeholders as archaic.
Since it was crafted over five decades ago, the current Act is reportedly creating a lot of confusion in the mining sector which stakeholders believe will be eradicated if the new bill is passed into law.
“The draft Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill should be among the key priorities in this session of Parliament and in this Government year.
“It has been placed among the key enablers of the 2022 Budget targets and the national vision for the upper middle-income economy,” said Mr Mkaratigwa in an interview yesterday.
He said the draft Bill still has to pass through the “hall of critics before it goes to the hall of fame”.
In that respect, Mr Mkaratigwa said all that is currently in it is not guaranteed to remain as consultations with stakeholders will seal what would be upheld as part of the sectoral legislative framework for our country.
“Naturally, where it included compelling mining companies to make their production and revenues a public record and also to enable both the state and citizens to monitor, curb mineral leakages and illicit financial flows, it aids accountability but the main issue is whether that should be part of the Act or the strategy,” he said.
Mr Mkaratigwa said the current spirit of the draft Bill is to have the best law for Zimbabwe, that strikes a balance and answers key questions by stakeholders.
“His Excellency the President had noted that new issues were introduced not necessarily that he was against it, but that he needed to give it more attention and adequate scrutiny,”
Mr Mkaratigwa said, adding the Executive wants sanity in the mining sector.
“The Executive should be at the forefront in advancing sectoral institutional and practice reforms being reinforced through the bill. Parliament is willing, the broader society is willing, the Executive is willing; and that means, the intention and spirit of the Bill cannot be delayed any further.”