ZIMBABWE’s MOVE TO ADOPT THE EXTRACTIVES INDUSTRIES TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE COMMENDABLE

The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA), a public law organization that seeks to promote environmental justice, sustainable and equitable use of natural resources, democracy and good governance in the natural resources and environment sector would like to commend the Government of Zimbabwe’s proposal to adopt the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in the 2019 National Budget. This is one of the National Budget’s great call in unleashing the potential of the natural resources sector to contribute to economic economic development while strengthening mineral resources governance in the country. The EITI is one of the well-known mineral resources governance frameworks globally and Civil Society Organisations like ZELA and the Publish What You Pay Coalition Zimbabwe Chapter have been calling for the Zimbabwe Government to adopt it.

It must be noted that in July 2010, the then Minister of Finance and Economic Development made recommendations in the Mid-term Fiscal Policy Statement that the country should consider joining the EITI. There were references to the EITI in subsequent National Budget Statements but the initiative never took off. Notably, policy conversations on EITI had disappeared from National Budget Statements for 2016 up to 2018.During the 2019 National Budget consultations, ZELA stressed the need for Government to ensure that the budget embraces the EITI or alternatively revive the Zimbabwe Mineral Revenue Transparency Initiative (ZMRTI)-a home grown version of EITI which failed to take off in 2011.Commendably, the 2019 National Budget Statement calls for Government to urgently adopt the EITI.

In his budget presentation, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Honourable Professor Mthuli Ncube noted that in order to move along with international best practices of achieving transparency in the management of natural resources, Government would want to be a member of the EITI as soon as possible. Since 2010, ZELA has been making deafening calls for the adoption of EITI, a progressive move in improving mineral resource revenue management and enhancing greater transparency and accountability in the extractives sector. The organisation has been able to raise awareness amongst communities on issues such as EITI and the Publish What You Pay (PWYP) campaign which calls on governments and mining companies to disclose mining contracts.

The move by Zimbabwe to adopt EITI resonates well with the aim of the Africa Mining Vision(AMV) that seeks to promote transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources to underpin broad based sustainable growth and socio-economic development. According to AMV, in promoting natural resources, African governments must mainstream EITI principles in national policies, laws, and regulations. ZELA is of the view that, if properly managed natural resources in the country can be beneficial to its citizens. Mineral resources are an important source of state revenues and a valuable asset for sustaining growth, reducing poverty and achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Mineral resource revenue can also facilitate the realisation of Zimbabwe’s 2030 Vision of achieving an Upper Middle Income Economy status.

To that end , well done Professor Mthuli and the Government of Zimbabwe. The announcement in the National Budget Statement was the first step and now we await the next concrete steps to help operationalise EITI especially with the EITI Global Conference happening in June. ZELA stands ready to provide technical support and assistance to the Ministry of Finance and the Government of Zimbabwe on the implementation of the EITI.

END

“Environmental justice through sustainable and equitable utilisation of natural resources and environmental protection”

Mutare Local Economic and Social Development Indaba

Mutare Local Economic and Social Development Indaba

Dates: 26th of February 2019

THEME: Making Diamonds Sparkle for Sustainable Local Development

Introduction and Background

Ever since diamonds were discovered in Marange, several factors have conspired to result in the disconnect between mining activities and sustainable local development. To reverse this curse, several stakeholders– Parliament, the Office of the Auditor General (OAG), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) have done a sterling job. Government admitted that seven companies that were operating in Marange had not brought any tangible economic activity compared to artisanal mining. This led to the birth of the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC). There is a compelling case to deeply reflect on various initiatives taken by stakeholders to make the diamond industry a development opportunity for the local community and all Zimbabweans. This process will enable co-creation of strategies which can better hinge local sustainable development on diamond mining activities. Hence the theme of the workshop: “Making diamonds sparkle for sustainable local development”

Tuesday 26 February 2019

Time Activity Responsibility

08:00-08:20 Registration All

08:20-08:30 Welcome remarks and the objectives of the meeting ZELA

08:30-09:00 Overview of Zimbabwe’s diamond industry and development opportunities ZCDC

09:00-09:20 Plenary All

09:20-09:40 Initiatives undertaken by Parliament to enhance transparency and accountable management of Marange diamonds 2009-2018 Parliament

09:40-09:50 Respondents PWYP Zim MDT

09:50-10:10 Plenary All

10:10-10:40 TEA BREAK ALL

10:40-11:00 Marketing of diamonds, exports by volume and value; value addition; marketing conditions and maximising marketing value of diamonds MMCZ

11:00-11:10 Respondents CRD CCDT

11:10-11:30 Plenary All

11:30-11:50 Kimberly Process, its role, key talking points on opportunities and limitations Coordinator of CSOs in KP

11:50-12:00 Respondents: how relevant is KP to the community struggle CNRG ARDT

12:00-12:20 Plenary All

12:20-12:40 Local and economic development hinged on diamond mining activities, looking back, current and future opportunities Mutate Rural District Council

12:20-12:30 Respondents Local MP Marange WARDCO chairperson

12:30-13:00 Plenary All

13:00-14:00 Lunch break All

14:00-14:20 Litigation as a tool to enforce community rights ZELA

14:20-14:30 Respondents ZCDC MDT

14:30-14:45 Plenary All

14:45-15:05 Environmental issues in the diamond mining sector, what has worked, what has not worked and what must be improved EMA

15:05-15:15 Respondents Mutare RDC CCDT

15:15-15:30 Plenary All

15:30-15:50 Artisanal diamond mining ZCDC

15:50-16:00 Respondents CNRG ZIDAWU

16:00-16:15 Plenary All

16:15-16:30 Way forward All

16:30-16:35 Closing remarks Mutare DA

ZELA’s Throw Back Thursday: Marange Documentary

A special dedication to Dr. Oliver Mtukudzi

The world is mourning the death of an icon, an artist par excellence, a social justice ambassador who has left an indelible mark in the lives of many people. Dr “Tuku” as he was known amongst his legion of fans is no more but his legacy lives on.

When we learnt of his untimely passing and his legendary contribution in the music circles, we were drawn back to one of ZELA’s documentary themed, Marange voices. As a result of his prominence in outspoken criticism of poor and corrupt governance we decided to use his Ziva Nguva song as the soundtrack.

In 2006 diamonds were discovered in Marange ,an area situated 90 km south west of Zimbabwe’s third largest city, Mutare. Most Zimbabweans were optimistic that the discovery of the precious stone would open avenues that would allow for economic growth but unfortunately this is not the case.

When talking about revenue collected from diamonds, the former Finance Minister of Zimbabwe, Tendai Biti, alluded to the controversy that shrouded the diamonds. In 2012,Biti expressed concern that diamond revenues were being misappropriated. Biti said he had anticipated US$600 million annually from the diamonds but by March 21,only U.S$30.4 million had been remitted. He also singled out Anjin Investments noting that it had not remitted any diamond proceeds to the government.

Today’s Herald newspaper is carrying a story headlined; Alrosa, Anjin to partner ZCDC. For us, this is indeed a cause of concern especially as we analyse Anjin’s negative impacts alluded to above. As the nation mourns the music icon should we also mourn Anjin’s comeback to Chiadzwa ?Check out Marange voices documentary produced by ZELA and judge for yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKU3riWz6nI

Go well Tuku Samanyanga, you will remain a shining beacon of hope in Africa and abroad.

Diamonds should sparkle in the fight against inequality

By Mukasiri Sibanda
With roughly $15 billion allegedly lost from Marange diamonds, the opportunity to fight inequality through domestic resource mobilisation was possible squandered. All is not lost though. This undesirable situation can be reversed in the quest to fight inequality. Government, therefore, must immediately adopt the following measures to ensure that diamonds champion the fight against inequality in Zimbabwe.

• Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) must give 10% equity to Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust (CSOT). This will legally empower the community to get a share of profit from diamond mining activities in Marange. The softened indigenisation and economic empowerment framework still requires diamond and platinum sectors to cede 10% equity to host communities.

• To fully exploit diamonds in Marange in a manner that promote community access, ownership and control of resources, ZCDC must move with speed to formalise artisanal diamond mining activities. “Indeed, there was greater economic impact from diamonds during times of uncontrolled alluvial panning than what is being realised following introduction of formal diamond mining arrangements” former Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, 2016 National Budget Statement.

• ZCDC must disclose payments made to different government institutions like Mutare Rural District Council (MRDC), various taxes paid to Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and Ministry of Mines. This disclosure will help the public to connect the dots between diamond mining activities and mobilisation of tax revenue to fund social service delivery. The Constitution, Section 276 (2) (b) empowers local authorities to mobilise resources from economic activities to fund local service delivery. By disclosing tax contribution to Mutare RDC, ZCDC can acquit itself well on how the entity is contributing to local development rather than glossing its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. All in all, government must embrace move with speed to implement the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI).

• Former companies linked with looting of Marange diamonds should not be allowed back. We have noted with concern activities on claims formerly owned by Anjin that the Chinese and military owned outfit is preparing to come back. Notably, the Auditor General raised a red flag that Anjin failed to produce audited financial statements to verify depletion taxes paid to government.

#FightInequality

ZELA’s 2019 WELCOME BACK NOTE

21 January 2019

REF: ZELA’s 2019 WELCOME BACK NOTE

Dear Colleague,

I am pleased to inform you that we are back from the holidays after a refreshing break.                           Let me take this opportunity to appreciate the amazing support the organisation continues to receive from different stakeholders including you and we hope you won’t tire in doing this.

The organisation will continue being shaped by its mission of promoting the rights of marginalized communities while also challenging bad environmental practices and policies. I will be communicating with you our programmes’ priorities for the year in due course.

Catch us on our social media networks, @ZELA_Infor, Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association and be part of the conversation on progressive natural resources governance.

I wish you all a tremendous 2019.

Yours faithfully,

Mutuso Dhliwayo

(ZELA Executive Director)

Press Statement: Concerns by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association on the operations by Surewin Investments in Mutoko on community rights.

Following concerns from the Mutoko communities regarding the operations of Surewin Investments, which is mining black granite in Nyamutsahuni village in Mutoko, ZELA carried out a field visit in the area and established the following concerns:

We note the following concerns:
• Surewin Investments is mining within the backyards of Spelile David, a 64-year-old woman and Sinate Ndowa, a 79-year-old male. These operations have exposed them to noise pollution and safety dangers, which violate their constitutional rights to a clean and safe environment that is not harmful to health and well-being.

• The company has failed to comply with its Environmental Management Plan approved by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) on the 18th of December 2016 where the company indicated its mitigatory measures of relocating the adequate compensation and this has left the family food insecure.

• Evidence shared by Spelile David highlighted that the company only paid her US$ 300 as compensation for both the property and agricultural produce that was still to be harvested. This is against the principle of Free, Prior Informed Consent which is a principle in international law that stipulates that a community has the right to give or withhold its consent to proposed projects that may affect the lands they customarily own, occupy or otherwise use.

To protect and fulfill the rights of these affected community members; there is need for immediate action that includes:
1. Immediate cessation of mining operations in Nyamutsahuni Village by Surewin Investments, pending:

a) Independent and transparent evaluation of the affected two homesteads’ properties and assets followed by free, prior and informed consultation and agreement on the compensation; and

b) Relocation of the affected families that follows the due process of the law as provided by Section 73 of the Constitution. A court order is necessary for purposes of ensuring that the environmental rights of the families are promoted.

2. Surewin Investments to respect right to dignity and environmental rights of the families in accordance with the Constitution.

3. The Environmental Management Agency to monitor the implementation of the Environmental Management Plan and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission to look into the violation of these families’ constitutional rights to dignity and clean environment.