MUTARE– An alternative mining indaba organised by a leading civic organisation has kicked off amid calls for greater transparency in the lucrative but shaky diamond mining industry in Marange.
The Provincial Alternative Mining Indaba organised by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) as a way to bring stakeholders in mining to discuss issues affecting the sector which contributed the largest chunk to the Gross Domestic Product.
Last year alone mining exports contributed 62% to the GDP.
Most notable at the indaba was the absence of mining companies extracting diamonds with only Marange Resources represented by Corporate Affairs Manager Muriel Nqwababa at the meeting.
Speaking to delegates, Dr Solomon Mungure of Africa University’s Institute of Peace Leadership and Governance (IPLG) said the tragedy of mining in Zimbabwe was the replication of colonial models of development.
He said due to this mentality shared value has failed to cascade down to the grassroots because of a leadership which was divorced from its citizenry.
“It’s the same attitude from the colonial regime which is still reigning supreme. How can we then have any shared value with such an attitude,” he said Running under the theme “Creating shared value in the mining sector through engagement with people, business and government,” the mining indaba is designed to offer a neutral platform for engagement of multiple stakeholders to advance their issues, positions and interests on natural resources and their management.
ZELA notes that while mining sector –particularly diamond-continues to be touted as the anchor and backbone to Zimbabwe’s economic growth and poverty reduction initiatives, little has been gained from it.
ZELA further states that the Zimbabwean Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset) (2013-2018), the government’s economic blue print is equally optimistic about the role that mining can play in contributing to sustainable socio- economic development.
In addition, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development in its 2011-2015 strategic plan, acknowledges “the mining sector has been identified as the core pillar in the country’s economic and social turn around and development plans”.