Ishemunyoro Chingwere, Harare Bureau
OFFICIALS from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, the relevant parliamentary portfolio committee and officers from the Attorney General’s office are meeting in Kariba to iron out sticky issues to the Mines and Minerals Bill.
The meeting, which began yesterday, is expected to run up to tomorrow.
President Mnangagwa last year referred back the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill after noting some sticky issues which he wanted looked into before he could proceed to sign it into law.
The President’s concerns were also echoed by the mines industry’s largest private sector voice, the Chamber of Mines, which is not happy with some aspects of the Bill, particularly the definition of strategic minerals as it “covers almost all the country’s commercially viable minerals”.
Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando, confirmed the Kariba retreat which is aimed at ironing out areas of disagreement in an interview with Star FM on the radio station’s programme, Minister’s Desk on Monday evening.
The amendments to the Act are also expected to be in sync with Government set targets of growing the mining sector’s fiscal contribution as well as export earnings which have been set to hit the US$12 billion target by 2023 up from US$3,2 billion attained last year.
“From Wednesday this week (yesterday), there is a retreat in Kariba where officials from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and the Parliamentary (portfolio) committee on Mines and Mining Development as well as officials from the Attorney General’s office are meeting up to Friday tomorrow), specifically to look at issues which were raised by His Excellency the President,” said the minister.
“Only after the deliberations which finish on Friday will I be in a position to indicate the way forward in addressing the concerns which were raised by His Excellency,” he said.
The stakeholders’ retreat will, however, need to be guided by the President’s public call to gear Zimbabwe as a premier investment destination as a key enabler to economic revival.
Mining, together with agriculture and the tourism sector have been identified as central to the country’s economic revival prospects under the Transitional
Stabilisation Programme, which should lead to Zimbabwe attaining upper middle income earning status by 2030.
To this end, Government has already scrapped investment inhibiting laws such as the indigenisation law, which insisted on at least 51 percent local ownership for local businesses, thus driving away potential investors.