ZAMI 12th Edition Declaration


16 – 19 October 2023

Holiday Inn, Bulawayo

A just energy transition: Unlocking Community Potential and Participation

  1. Preamble

We, the more than 200 delegates – comprised of Government Ministries, Parliament of Zimbabwe, community, and environmental activists, as well as supporting civil society organizations (CSOs), trade unions, researchers, organic intellectuals, and members of the media, from the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe, convened the 12th Edition of the Zimbabwe Alternative Mining Indaba (ZAMI) in Bulawayo from the 16th to the 19th of October 2023. The 2023 ZAMI ran under the theme, “A just energy transition: Unlocking Community Potential and Participation.”  The ZAMI challenged communities to reclaim power and unlock potential while also carrying out the mandate to hold business and government accountable as follow up actions to the 11th ZAMI theme of a just energy transition.

1.1   This edition of ZAMI has been convened at a time when mining firms’ environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitments are in the limelight as the world is advocating for a just transition in all aspects of their operations.  Thus, a wide range of ESG problems, such as mining’s influence on climate change, water use, labor rights, health, safety, and corporate governance, have become crucial in the fight to ensure that the vast natural resources offer socioeconomic justice and improved development outcomes for all. Furthermore, the outcomes of the Indaba will inform the Zimbabwe delegation’s position at the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP 28), which is scheduled for 30 November to 12 December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and will focus on, among other things, fast-tracking the energy transition and reducing emissions before 2030.

Therefore, it is vital to encourage and facilitate community participation in conversations around the just energy transition as we maintain full support of our people-centered approach in all initiatives, with women and children at the center. As we strongly believe that there is “Nothing about us – without us,“ we continue to insist on genuine community consultations and broad-based engagements

As such, during various sessions at this 12th edition of ZAMI, we the delegates: 

  • Energy transition for the community should be transformative and seek to achieve energy justice.
  • Traditional leaders, the church and the community are pivotal in ensuring ESG compliance.
  • The Government is wrapping up the responsible mining audit process.
  • Global developments are prioritizing the promotion of responsible sourcing of critical minerals.
  • Critical ESG gaps still exist in the Mines and Minerals Act. For instance, Mining companies are not mandated to have sustainability plans that include social, environment and economic recovery aspects for the affected mining community.
  • Persons With Disability still face systemic and structural barriers and discrimination that inhibit their participation as economic actors in mining
  • Mining contract transparency continues to be obscure despite Constitutional provisions on transparency and incessant calls for access to information by communities and civil society.
  • Funding for energy transition is scarce, including funding for climate adaptation.
  • Violence Against Women and Girls through sexual, physical, and economic violence continues to manifest itself in the mining sector.
  • There are gaps in the equity considerations of the national budget and the budget does not ensure equitable resource distribution across regions and sectors, as well as address infrastructure, equipment, and supply shortfalls for people with disabilities.
  • Our commitment to supporting the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) implementation process.
  • Our commitment to monitor investors’ compliance with responsible mining and sourcing standards
  • Our resolve to include and empower marginalized communities such as women, youth and PWDs in just transition decision making processes.
  • Our support for workers, communities and regions that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the move away from carbon-intensive economies.
  • To facilitate the unification of CSO voices for collaborative efforts towards energy transition goals.
  • To ensuring communities realize benefits from the natural resources found within their communities as stipulated in the Constitution of Zimbabwe Section 13(4).
  • To reduce high infant and maternal mortality rates, breast, and cervical cancer deaths due to poor service delivery.
  • RECOMMEND the following:
  • CSOs and communities must continue to advocate for the implementation of the devolution and decentralization policy to allow communities to manage their natural resources. CSOs must speak, and act with one voice to support just transition that is equitable to the needs of all stakeholders and communities.
  • The government (Department of Labor) should ensure that mine workers’ rights are respected by the private sector including facilitating formations of more workers committees and unions as prescribed in the Constitution and Labor Act. This should include a review of the minimum wages for mine workers.
  • Government, Chapter 12 Commissions, and development partners must enhance education and awareness by translating climate-related, environment and economic policy documents to local languages for easier dissemination. Dissemination of information must include considerations of accommodations necessary for PWDs to have equal access to information and resources necessary for engaging in the mining sector.
  • The Office of the President and Cabinet must ensure private sector Government departments honor their constitutional obligation to work together to address challenges being faced by communities at local level. 
  • Ministry of Local Government and Public Works must ensure that traditional leaders, the church, and the communities, who play critical roles in ensuring ESG compliance, have access to information and are prepared to collaborate in addressing community problems.  Therefore, there should be transparency and accountability in mineral governance.
  • The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works must revisit the community benefit schemes in consultation with communities and other stakeholders to ensure real benefit to communities from use of natural resources.
  • The Zimbabwean government must position itself as a leader in SADC due to vast lithium deposits and must convening regional dialogue to influence lithium pricing and further regional collaboration among other critical minerals value chains.
  • Parliament must prioritize the development of a comprehensive critical minerals framework which addresses value addition, skills transfer and technology transfer from the global north to the global south.
  • The Ministry of Finance should broaden contracts with international investors to include skills and technology transfer clauses to ensure sustainability of mining operations and expansion of country benefits from extraction of mineral resources. 
  • Parliament must prioritize the enactment of the Devolution Act that speaks to raising devolution resources from natural resources.
  • Parliament must prioritize the Enactment of the Disability Bill to ensure that PWDs will be protected from discrimination by law in all spheres.
  • The Church must take a leading role in mobilizing communities’ advocacy actions towards sustainable natural resources management and a just energy transition framework.
  • The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission should present reports to parliament on the challenges they face in providing communities access to non-judicial remedy in the context of business and human rights. Further the ZHRC must utilize this report to advocate for the development of a National Action Plan on business and human rights.
  • Parliament should prioritize the amendment of the Mines and Minerals Act and Water Act, finalization of the Climate Change Bill and ensure comprehensive consultation of communities and integration of community voices in these legal reforms.
  • Private sector players (companies in the mining value chain) should establish and disseminate, in local languages, operational grievance redress mechanisms for mining communities to access remedy in instances where there are human rights abuses and injustices.
  • Climate financing from domestic sources is better than debt financing since the country is already failing to service its huge debt to the IMF and World Bank. Repayment of loans results in heavy tax burdens for citizens and corporations and this may deter investors. For example, the income tax is currently pegged at 24% compared to previous levels of 25%.
  • Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should further desist from entering Resource Backed Loan Agreements because this continues to perpetuate the cycle of poverty by leveraging the futures of young people and limiting their intergenerational right to benefit from natural resources.
  • The law should provide for a framework for respect of communal land rights, mining-induced displacements and fair, adequate and timely compensation.
  • The Environmental Management laws must be reformed to place a cost on environment and climate impacts in the mining sector enabling mining companies to have a costed and funded sustainability and rehabilitation plan that will be executed during and after their mining operations.
  • The youth groups must integrate the welfare of female miners and women and girls living in the mining operations in their advocacy interventions.
  • Young People must for a statutory instrument that will consider further subsidized products and lithium products and electric cars since the country is the fourth largest producer of lithium globally.
  • Youth representation should be visible in every mining body governing mining affairs in the country. This includes the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) and the Chamber of Mines.
  • The aspirations, challenges and similar issues affecting youth in mining are pertinent in making the mining sector more inclusive and sensitive to young people hence the need to set in place a Youth in Mining Desk at national and provincial headquarters for youths in Zimbabwe.
  • Ministry of Finance and Economic Development must ensure increased funding and spending for the disability and health sectors, particularly for women and girls with impairments in accordance with commitments under various conventions and declarations like the Abuja health declaration.
  • CSOs should organize and support more workshops that are disability-centered in provinces to reach a wider audience of people with disabilities. These workshops should focus on providing relevant information, training, and capacity-building opportunities for people with disabilities who are interested in the mining sector.
  • The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development must prioritize implementing the ease of doing business in the gemstones sector.
  • There is need for continued training and education for CBOs and communities on social media tools and ensuring that everyone has at least some basic knowledge of how to use social media, including legal provisions that have implications on freedom of speech and access to information.


The ZAMI continues to be a dialogue and capacity-building platform that focuses on better understanding the opportunities and challenges associated with pain points of natural resource governance to chart an environmentally sustainable path towards a just energy transition.

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