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Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association Executive Director’s End of Year Message

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Date(s) - 18/12/2020 - 18/01/2021
12:00 am

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18 December 2020

Dear Partners, Stakeholders and Donors

RE: Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association Executive Director’s End of Year Message

2020 is coming to an end, a year that will go down in history as one which compelled us to adapt to the new normal, where we had to find new ways of coping while ensuring that we continue unreservedly with our mandate of promoting democracy, good governance and sustainable development using natural resources as a framework.

COVID-19 has become a public health emergency of international concern, the pandemic has affected millions of people, disrupted the economic activities of many, resulting in increased poverty and vulnerability. However, this global scourge has also revealed the positive impact in solidified efforts in fighting its spread. While masking up as encouraged in the COVID-19 World Health Organisation and national guidelines, our masks have not hindered us from speaking up against irresponsible investors. Some natural resource extraction companies have been found wanting in their compliance with labour, environment, worker safety and health laws and standards. Hence, we continued our call for investors to adopt and apply business and human rights standards in the mineral resource sector.

Our hope for 2020, has been to see the finalisation of the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill which has been in the pipeline for quite too long. Among the key issues which ZELA and likeminded organisations have highlighted not to be missed in the Bill include, the need to formalise Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining, adoption and implementation of the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and bringing to finality the setting-up and implementation of the computerised mining cadastre system. We hope 2021 will see the finalisation of the Mines Bill as has been highlighted by the Government. Now and beyond, we also anticipate that the Government will ensure it publicly discloses information such as mining contracts, a key aspect in promoting transparency and accountability. Lack of transparency and accountability has been exposed by corruption scandals such as the COVIDgate.

Dear Partners, Stakeholders and Donors amid the chaos in this unpredictable world we are living in, you continued to rekindle our spark as an organisation while inspiring us to do more. My heart is replete with thankfulness.

As the calendar changes, may the hope of a new, better, and brighter decade be renewed.

Stay safe and happy holidays to you and your loved ones.

Please note, our offices will be closed for the holidays from 18 December 2020 to 18 January 2021. For any urgent matters, do not hesitate to email me at mutusod@zela.org

 

Yours Sincerely,

ZELA Executive Director

 

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