sharing in governance of extractive industries
Opening Zimbabwe for business, in principle is a noble initiative because sectors like mining have huge appetite for investment. However, the constitutional right for communities to benefit from the exploitation of resources in their localities must never be compromised. Regrettably, Community Share Ownership Trusts (CSOTs), established to ensure equity participation of communities affected by mining operations no longer have legal backing outside diamond and platinum sectors. A position that was created by the Finance Act of 2018.
Lately, the Minister of Finance, Prof Mthuli Ncube opined that government will remove indigenisation requirements for platinum and diamond sectors. To enable the public and other interested parties to appreciate what is at stake, this write up is a compilation of interesting facts and figures on Gwanda Community Share Ownership Trust (GCSOT). The facts and figures were sifted from the community data extractors held by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) to improve mining fiscal transparency in Zimbabwe.
The signature intention of the programme is to equip community members with skills to mine data, process the data to formulate data driven advocacy messages for transparent and accountable management of mineral revenue.
facts and figures
Government must open Zimbabwe for business, but it must avoid opening avenues for exploiting resource rich communities, a right that is enshrined in the Constitution, Section 13 (4). Existing and prospective investors in the mining sector must not negotiate aggressively with government to undermine the right of communities to benefit fairly from the exploitation of their natural wealth.
The economy desperate needs investors. However, counting a spike in foreign direct investment is a cosmetic indicator. Investment in the mining sector are only sustainable when people, planet and profits are put in that order. Taking into consideration that the Minister of Industry has first hand experience on the impact of CSOTs, we hope that communities affected by mining have a champion in government.
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