Zimbabwe law does not allow one to go and mine gold at someone’s homestead, Deputy Minister of Mines Polite Kambamura told the Senate yesterday.
“One is only allowed to mine after getting permission from the Ministry of Mines. After getting that permission, the Ministry of Mines goes and inspects whether that place is fit for mining activities.
“They have to put into consideration whether it is someone’s homestead or field; is there any infrastructure like schools, shops or dams. After that, the person is then given permission or a mining licence. Before they start mining activities, they are supposed to interact first with the local stakeholders,” he said.
This might be what the law says but reality is different.
Here is what the minister was told.
HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development. Does Government law allow anyone to explore or mine gold on anyone’s farm or home? Can someone just go and start mining at someone’s farm or homestead?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): The question does not allow someone to go and mine gold at someone’s homestead. One is only allowed to mine after getting permission from the Ministry of Mines. After getting that permission, the Ministry of Mines goes and inspects whether that place is fit for mining activities. They have to put into consideration whether it is someone’s homestead or field; is there any infrastructure like schools, shops or dams. After that, the person is then given permission or a mining licence. Before they start mining activities, they are supposed to interact first with the local stakeholders. They should also be able to get an EIA before they start exploring from the Environmental Management Agency so that they will not disturb the environment.
HON. SEN. FEMAI: I have a supplementary question. These people are coming with documentation and that includes demarcations that cover homesteads and fields. They are allowed to start mining. Is that what the law says? Can someone go and start mining with all the legal documentation but mining at someone’s homestead or kraal?
HON. KAMBAMURA: If there is a particular place where that is happening, may the Hon. Senator please put it in writing so that we investigate what is happening because the Constitution does not allow that.
I will explain briefly what the Constitution says in terms of minerals exploration. It states that if you have less than 100 hectares of land, nobody is allowed to come and peg at your field without permission from you. But if you have more than 100 hectares of land, someone is allowed to come and peg as long as they do not peg on cultivated land. In addition, they are not allowed to come and start mining close to houses. They are supposed to mine at least 400 metres away from the homesteads.
As you are aware, the Constitution was crafted around 1961 before independence. As we speak, we are now busy working on this law to be amended. It has since gone for outreach and the draft has been submitted to Cabinet and it is within that Committee. There are some things that need to be realigned in order for the law to conform to the current needs. In 2018 when we had the Land Reform Programme, this law was not aligned to such occurrences.
HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Minister, what you are saying is not what your workers do. What you are saying and what is transpiring on the ground is not the same. Last week under Sabhuku Tete in my homestead, there was exploration and digging and that person had documentation. You need to work with your officers to ensure that what you are saying happens on the ground.
HON. KAMBAMURA: I agree that there are some officers who may transgress against the Constitution. We need to reach out to people in provinces and meet the local leadership as well as the Ministry of Agriculture officials so that we settle this issue before the law is aligned.
Source: The Insider