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Zimbabwe should leverage on its vast mineral wealth for sustainable development

Zimbabwe’ socio-economic recovery path is mainly dependent on the performance of the mining sector. Recognizing the importance of harnessing the potential of mining to deliver development benefits, government crafted and adopted a mining strategy that is expected to see the country being able to rake in US$12 billion worth of export earnings from the mining sector by 2023. The objective of this strategic roadmap (12 Billion Strategy) is to facilitate the exploitation processes of the country’s minerals throughout their entire value chain that is from exploration, mining metallurgical processing, value addition and beneficiation. Thus, the attainment of the Vision 2030 is premised on the mining sector’s envisaged huge contributions.

Several mining and energy contracts have been signed under the government’s Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra which came into effect in November 2017. In his presentation on the performance of the previous economic blue print, the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) in August last year, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube indicated that some of the mining projects are ahead of schedule[1]. Despite the easily observable correlation between the mining sector and economic growth patterns and projections, there is a disconnect between mining sector performance and service delivery. Mining in Zimbabwe tends to under-deliver on domestic resource mobilisation and sustainable development due to Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs), poor mining fiscal regimes and gaps in transparency and accountability among other challenges.

Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association(ZELA) notes that here are existing opportunities to strengthen the role of parliament in ensuring that the country leverages on its vast mineral wealth to deliver on economic recovery, domestic resource mobilisation and sustainable development. These include the 2013 Constitution which calls for transparent, just and responsive public administration[2]; for state institutions to be accountable to parliament and the people; the need for parliament to pass laws and raise motions that improve the fiscal mining regime and increase transparency in mining concession negotiations, contract performance[3] and approval of international treaties and agreements[4]. As part of its project on Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in the Natural Resource Sector through Citizen Action and Parliament Oversight (STACAP), ZELA organized a two day expert training workshop in Kwekwe in November last year. The idea behind these expert training sessions was to improve the capacity of Members of Parliament to play their oversight, legislative and representation role over executive actions for improved mining sector legislative and policy framework.

Today (March 12th,2021), ZELA is convening an expert training on mining sector transparency and accountability for parliament secretariate.

[1] https://miningzimbabwe.com/mining-sector-spurs-tsp-progress/

[2] Section 194 of the Constitution on public administration 

[3] Section 315 of the Constitution


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