the government of Zimbabwe takes action to contain machete gangs who have
wreaked havoc in almost every key gold producing areas in Zimbabwe, mining
sector transparency reforms must not go under the policy radar. To a large
extent, Publish What You Pay-Zimbabwe believes that opacity, the secretive way
in which the mining sector operates and governed is the root cause of violence
in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM). Disputes, conflict and
lawlessness which is threatening to subtract heavily the socio-economic
benefits from ASGM fester easily because of lack of open and accountable
management of the mineral resources.
current mining legislation, the Mines and Minerals Act in its current form
promotes in formalisation and criminalisation of ASGM. There is no regulation
of the sector hence no protection of those in (ASM) and encouraging illegal
mining activities which is fueling violence in the sector. As a result of lack
of adequate geological data, government cannot be proactive in containing gold
rushes which are mainly behind chaotic ASGM. The issuance and management of
mining titles is outdated, lags behind international best practices which
deliver open access to the mining cadastre – a mining title management system.
Taking advantage of this transparency deficit, unscrupulous actors who are
politically well connected corruptly control access to mining areas. For all
the talk about phenomenal gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners
(FPR), there is information black out on production figures and there is no
granular data on gold delivery data. Information on how much gold is produced
per district, at provincial and national level is not publicly disclosed
including gold deliveries. The only notable exception is that gold deliveries
to FPR are disclosed at national level. The Zimbabwe Republic Police has
remained tight lipped on data which is critical to understand the severity of
violence in ASGM – number of cases reported, people arrested, the wanted
persons list and deaths linked to this violence. Of course, because of the
underground nature of ASGM, most cases are not reported to the police. However,
disclosure by the police on the extent of criminality in ASGM is critical to
prove that this sector is secretive. In addition to what government is doing,
the PWYP Zimbabwe, therefore calls for:
- Policy reform process to support and decriminalize the ASM. Countries like Tanzania have made significant progress in formalizing the ASM sector through development of policy and legislation that regulate ASM. Lessons can be drawn from such countries.
- Adoption or domestication and implementation of transparency and accountability initiatives such as EITI. We applaud government for coming up with the companies’ law that requires that all companies to be registered.” Implementation of this Act is key in this current situation.
- A computerized mining title system. This will help address the allocation and administrating of mining claims challenges. Incidences of multiple claim ownership disputes can be addressed through a more transparent and accountable mining title management.
- Review of the no questions asked policy in line with international standards such as the OECD Due Diligence Guidance in all mineral supply chains guidelines to ensure production and sourcing practices do not contribute to adverse human rights or conflict and its financing.
About Publish What You Pay
Publish What You Pay (PWYP) is the worldwide
campaign for an open and accountable extractive industry. We are the only
global movement working to ensure that revenues from oil, gas and mining are
used to drive development. With more than 700-member organisations and 45
national coalitions, our strength lies in our ability to coordinate action
nationally and globally, maximizing our collective impact, so everyone benefits
from their natural resources – today and tomorrow.