- February 19, 2021
- Posted in LOCAL
Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) President Ms. Henrietta Rushwaya yesterday announced that the ZMF has appealed for temporary reprieve from the Mines and Mining Development Minister Hon Winston Chitando in a bid to address the recently gazetted prices in accordance with statutory instrument SI 44 of 2021.
Rudairo Dickson Mapuranga
In a statement, Rushwaya said the 800% fee hike was too prohibitive for most of the miners which will likely lead to forfeitures and breed illegal mining.
“ZMF has noted with concern the newly gazetted prices in accordance with statutory instrument SI 44 of 2021. We are treating the matter with utmost urgency and have started engaging the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.”
“The fees are too prohibitive for the majority of our miners and are likely to lead to forfeitures and forcing them into illegal Mining activities.”
“Kindly bear with us as we seek redress from our Minister and Patron Honourable Winston Chitando for a temporary reprieve until an amicable solution is reached,” said Rushwaya in a statement.
The SI 44 of 2021 created pandemonium in the ASM sector with miners expressing anger at the astronomical hike which many construed as a way of sidelining small players.
Below are some comments from Miners and professionals from the mining groups:-
“Licences and Permits ought to be regulatory & administrative not revenue options.”
“Yah it’s just a way of booting out small fish from the field. With EPOs all over the country, the big fish are just finding a way of taking over from the small-scale miners. They know many won’t be able to pay the fees. In the midst of the pandemic, miners were not expecting this. Now that it will cost up to US$2000 to get a mining claim including peggers. Then for one to operate will need several licences EMA & Explosive permits, PPE for workers then inputs and equipment if all added one would need at least US$5000 for a small start-up. An indigenous miner in this economy?
This will now increase corruption & gold illicit flows because people will start to mine without papers & sell to the black market more. The mines guys will come for inspections find people without papers then deal corruptly and leave them, the flora & fauna will do the same,” one miner said.
“The question that must be answered is, did the Minister exercise his discretion reasonably and justiciously? another said.
“Ministry is not private property they MUST explain to the stakeholders,” another suggested.
“What will happen is legal pegger will raise their fees. And illegal peggers will become popular. Then even more disputes will occur because they don’t know their jobs. And in the end more chaos in the industry,” one said.
“I’d love to hear from the Ministry and ZMF officials here on this group. How are you going to ensure that Zimbabweans are not locked out of the system with this pricing? And to be clear, of course, you have to have higher fees in order to have the whole industry and Ministry of Mines work better. And yet, what concrete steps are you undertaking to make sure that ordinary Zimbabweans can partake in this nation’s wealth? A Nortonian asked.
Rushwaya’s statement brought relief to miners and praise to “Madam President” as she is popularly known in the mining circles.