sharing in Zimbabwe has been very contentious especially in resource rich
communities that feel that they are being short changed, and they are not
getting a fair share of the benefits derived from the extraction of natural
resources in their host communities. In the face of the USD $12 Billion mining economy
vision, communities continue to question the realistic nature of achieving this
vision. If achieved, will it be of any benefit to ordinary Zimbabweans or it’s
for the few elites. In a bid to assess the level of benefit by mining
communities and the possible solutions to lack of Community beneficiation, Habakkuk Trust,
Silveira House, Publish What You Pay-Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Environmental Law
Association (ZELA) hosted a webinar on 27th August 2021
whereby various mining communities and different stakeholders expressed their views
on Community benefit sharing.
Key Issues raised
negotiation and awarding of mining rights remains mystery that is only known by
the President and Minister of Mine and Mines Development. In 2020 the community of Marange demanded
answers why Anjin was back in Chiadzwa even though it was one of the companies dissolved
leading to the formation of Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC). There
was no meaningful response given. The secrecy shrouding their contracts makes it
almost impossible to demand accountability from them let alone knowing their
financial status. Thus, as communities demands transparency and accountability,
these companies seem to be protected hence lack of community beneficiation as
envisaged in Section 13 (4) of the Constitution.
Corporate Social Responsibility
communities felt the fact that CSR is not compulsory but remains mining
companies’s freewill is contributing to communities not being able to benefit
from the minerals in their communities. Other companies such as Anjin in
Chiadzwa are allegedly just mining without care of social license or of the
community it operates in. The general observation was that Chinese companies in
the mining sector are not making any effort in terms of corporate social
responsibility. A speaker from Mutoko stated that, “As long as the Mines and Minerals
Act is not revised, and CSR not endorsed we will continue to be negatively
affected especially by the operations of the Chinese companies in Mutoko
Nyamutsahuni Ward 10″.
Revenue Collection and Social Service Delivery
communities complained that payment of mining levies and taxes by mining
companies to Local authorities was always delayed, it is even worse because it
will be in Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and would have lost its real
value. This derails social service delivery because the money may end up being
used for administrative work of local authorities and not for economic
development. In the case of Mutare Rural district council, there was
acknowledgement of payment by ZCDC, but nothing from Anjin and Gold mining
companies. Thus, issue of resource mobilization from natural resources remains
a great challenge for mining communities and it seems the authorities are
hesitant to use legal routes available in fear of losing more funds.
Community Share Ownership Trusts (CSOT)
other Communities such as Gwanda and Shurugwi mining communities testify that
they had benefitted from mining companies, with Unki mine initiating several
tangible projects. However, the same cannot be said of other communities
especially from Chinese companies. Mutoko and Marange communities expressed
that they did not effectively benefit from the CSOT funds as was expected when
these were formed. As of the case of
Marange, the Board was imposed so there is need for citizenship engagement and
participation, that includes appointment of local board members to ensure
persons with interests of mining communities at heart are in the board and can
advocate for development.
Opportunities Available for Community benefit Sharing
1.Demanding timeous Remittance of Mining Levies
payment of mining levies and royalties is a legal obligation, communities can
demand effective resource mobilisation by Local authorities and the Government so
that funds are available for social service delivery. Laws should not be cumbersome
in recovering mining levies and royalties.
There is also need to relook in the issue of tax holidays and incentives
as communities feel they are overrated at the expense of community
beneficiation and local economic development.
2. Capacity building and Employment creation-
Veronica Zano stated, there is need to enhance competencies for Zimbabweans by
provision of full range of services required by Industry through interventions
such as provision of scholarships, reinstatement of students grants and
is an opportunity for recruitment of locals as well on job trainings to acquire
the necessary skills as lack of technical expertise is mostly cited as a barrier
for employment of locals especially in Chiadzwa. The good example is of Unki
mine that was cited to have trained more than 20 employees for the jobs at the
3.Creating business opportunities for local firms
compulsory local content requirements through bids, forward and backward
linkages. Enforcement of local procurement and supplier development by
unbundling large contracts in order to accommodate smaller businesses suppliers,
to include businesses operated by women,
youth and persons with disabilities finding space in mining value chain
and available linkages.
4. Zimbabwe Local Content Strategy implementation
implementation of this principle will ensure community beneficiation, by
promoting local value addition and linkages.
5. Section 159 (3) and 247 of the Mines and Minerals Act
requirement for an applicant of Special mining license to furnish the Mining
Commissioner with a marketing plan setting out proposals and timetable for
beneficiation of the output of the proposed mine is an opportunity for locals
Social license is a required standard for mining companies to acquire
International accreditation, therefore, Corporate Social Responsibility should
be compulsory and governed by the Mines and Minerals Act and not regarded as
Contract transparency should be enhanced to ensure accountability by investors while
ensuring community beneficiation. The Zimbabwe Extractive Transparency
Initiative should be revived and become law to ensure good mineral resource
Effective Resource mobilization through tracking and enforcement of revenue
collection of mining levies and taxes.
Regular multistakeholders meetings that are effective and ready to implement
Parliament to continue playing its oversight role and ensure policies are implemented
especially those that have to do with beneficiation.
According to Publish What You Pay, ” there is need to establish an online
monitoring tracker on the implementation of recommendations made by the Office
of the Auditor General (OAG).
of Community beneficiation are so marginal as evidenced by lack of economic development,
illicit financial flows, smuggling of minerals and poverty. Therefore, there is
need for the civil society, communities and citizens in general to demand
corporate accountability, contract transparency and effective implementation of
laws in policies governing the mining sector to ensure beneficiation. It is high time the citizens also petition
the parliament to exercise its oversight role in the extractive sector lest the
minerals will continue to be exploited and the powerful gets richer while the
weak poorer which is a derail to an upper middle-class economy 2030 vision.