To better track impact of capacity building
work with Parliament on promoting transparency and accountability in the mining
sector, Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) jointly agreed with
Parliament of Zimbabwe to come up with performance targets. This was agreed
during a workshop facilitated by ZELA on Mining Fiscal
Transparency and Beneficial Disclosureon Wednesday, 26 February 2020,
at a local Hotel in Harare. Participants included; the Registrar of Companies,
legislators from the Parliamentary Portfolio Committees on Mines and Mining
Development, and the Budget Finance and Economic Development, Civil Society
Organisations (CSOs), representatives from the Office of the Auditor General
(OAG), Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), Media, and Civil Society Coalitions.
In this update, we focus on the action plans that
emerged from the workshop, with special emphasis on engaging Parliament to
promote mining fiscal transparency and accountability.
CSOs are doing a tremendous job in building the
capacity of Parliamentarians, therefore it is critical that they conduct
performance appraisals to continuously evaluate the effectiveness of their
interventions on the work being undertaken by legislators. To achieve this, the following
points must be taken into consideration;
Parliament Portfolio Committees
(PPCs) to share their workplans with CSOs
PPCs on Mines to share quarterly
performance reports provided by Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
A retreat is required to ensure that
performance targets are jointly set out and performance enablers are enhanced.
In the interest of harvesting the low hanging
fruits, it was discussed and agreed that the following issues must be raised in
Parliament by members of the Portfolio Committee on Mines before the end of
Progress on implementation of the
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Government, in 2019,
revived its interest in joining EITI, a global standard that seeks to promote
transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mineral sectors. In case
government is not keen on implementing EITI, legislators must push government
to undertake piecemeal mining sector
transparency reforms as required by the Constitution. For example, an Act of Parliament
is required to guide negotiation and performance of mining agreemens (Section
315 (2) (c) to promote transparency, host, cost effectiveness and
Clear milestones are required for the
computerization of the mining cadastre. Points to consider: How can a
government that seeks to achieve US$12 billion annual earnings from the mining sector
by 2023 fail to provide US$2 million for the modernization of the mining
cadastre? Foreign currency shortages cannot be used as an excuse because over
60 cents per every dollar generated from exports comes from the mining sector. It
is therefore imperative that Government ploughs back foreign currency earned
from mining into infrastructure development which enhances the performance of
the mining sector like the mining cadastre. Legislators can go a step further
to check foreign currency expenditures by government especially foreign trip to
make a case for poor prioritization.
Monitor whether financial statements
and annual reports for mining State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) have been
submitted within two months after the end of each financial year to the OAG as
required by the Public Financial Management Act (Section 49). Parliament must
not wait for OAG’s report which must be produced within six months after the
end of each financial year to sift information on which SOE has defaulted on
timely submission of annual reports for audit.
Performance appraisal of Exclusive
Prospecting Orders (EPOs) is necessary. Legislators must ask the Minister to
submit a register of EPOs, with progress reports evaluated against agreed
Aside from the targets set for legislators, the
following action points targeted at CSOs were agreed;
Legal advice on implementation of the
“use it or lose it” principle under the current Mines and Minerals Act is need.
Engage Parliamentarians on social
media or through physical meetings to support them as they prepare for Wednesday
Parliament sitting, caucas meetings and ask pointed questions on mining
CSOs must build the capacity of the
committee members to scrutinize and hold the Ministry accountable based on
quarterly performance reports submitted to Parliament.
A perfect tone was set by Honourable Anele
Ndebele immediately after the end of the workshop. Speaking in Parliament, Hon Anele Ndebele
raised questions on transparency and accountability related to EPOs.
notice the Deputy Minister of Mines is here present. It is a fact that we are
all aspiring towards a US12 billion per year annual budget from mining sector.
I therefore wish to invite the Minister of Mines to bring to this house an
update on mining sector performance.
Secondly, I wish that the Minister on the same day to bring register of
all EPOs by area in this country and also make an indication of the companies
that are involved in the EPOs. Finally Mr Speaker, the law so demands that at
least every six months, we must have a record of how the EPOs are performing …..
we need to track how they are performing.”