Relocation and Compensation Law for Communities embraced


Tropical Africa, the new relocation law for mining operations has sparked agreement from both mining companies to support the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) in the relocation of Mines and Minerals.

Patricia Rwafa

The law has the potential to provide economic opportunities for communities affected by mining, but there are also fears that it could lead to the displacement of people and damage to the environment.

At a workshop held at Cresta Oasis Hotel in Harare on Thursday the 15th of February 2024, which stakeholders attended including CSOs, ZHRC, Rural District Councils, and Community-based organisations, ZELA said it was seeking for the establishment of Mines and Minerals compensation and relocation laws to ensure communities affected by mining are fairly relocated and compensated.

Speaking at the workshop, Dr Grasian Mkodzongi of Tropical Africa said the relocation law has the potential to bring great benefits to the communities affected by mining, but it is important to ensure that these benefits are not at the expense of people’s homes and livelihoods.

“We need to make sure that we are striking the right balance between development and displacement,” he said.

Data manipulation in the context of mining relocations often takes the form of under-reporting the number of people relocated, exaggerating the number of jobs created, and hiding negative environmental impacts. This results in a skewed view of the costs and benefits of mining operations, which can have serious consequences for the affected communities.

Despite claims by mining companies that relocations will lead to increased employment, the reality is often quite different. In many cases, mining companies fail to create the promised jobs, leaving local communities with few economic opportunities and a high level of unemployment. While mining companies often tout the benefits of infrastructure development that accompanies relocations, the reality is that these developments often fall short of expectations.

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The promised roads, schools, and hospitals are often not built or are of poor quality, leaving local communities worse off than before.

In addition to the lack of infrastructure development, mining companies often fail to provide adequate support initiatives for communities affected by relocations. These initiatives may include things like education programs, health services, and job training, but are often not implemented effectively. This lack of support can lead to a cycle of poverty and deprivation in affected communities,” he said.

Zimbabwe is on track to achieve the targeted US$12 billion mining sector by this year on the back of increased investments and expansion projects, according to Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Polite Kambamura.

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