The Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) has expressed deep concern over the protracted delays in the issuance of mining certificates, citing that this has led to unnecessary disputes arising from the overlapping allocation of mining claims.
During a meeting between ZMF President Henrietta Rushwaya and the newly appointed Mines Minister Soda Zhemu in the capital, the miners’ grievances were discussed.
Rushwaya conveyed, “The extended waiting periods for the issuance of mining certificates have given rise to disputes, mainly stemming from the overlapping allocation of claims.
Some miners are still awaiting their certificates dating back to the years 2017-2023. Mashonaland West appears to be the most severely affected, closely followed by Mashonaland Central.”
She further elaborated, “ZMF has requested the minister to deploy additional resources to expedite this process. The prolonged delays are causing our potential miners to be categorized as illegal miners.
Moreover, the application of Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPOs) for speculative purposes is adversely impacting our miners. We implore the minister to prioritize our request.
The inconsistencies in taxing regimes among rural district councils have had a significant negative impact on our miners. It is imperative that RDCs establish uniformity and implement a standardized two-tier taxing system.”
During the meeting, another pressing issue discussed was the urgent need for a comprehensive gemstone policy. This is vital as the government is currently experiencing revenue losses due to illicit activities in the gemstone sector.