The Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) has implored its membership and Government to consider special interest groups such as women and war veterans in their mining ventures and signing off of mineral rich titles to ensure they also benefit from the country’s huge mineral endowment.
ZMF is the umbrella body that represents small scale miners.
Government is on record saying the sector has a huge role to play in the country’s economic development as some minerals deposits are more amenable to small scale mining operations.
To date, the small scale sector is the country’s largest contributors to the country’s gold deliveries.
The miners’ federation made the call at the weekend when it donated an assortment of mining equipment that comprises compressors, generators, explosives and other consumables to women miners.
The equipment was sourced by the federation’s president, Ms Henrietta Rushwaya, and is being distributed to miners across the country to help them mechanise their operations and maximise production.
“Here we are leaving a compressor because it’s one of the main gaps we thought you have as you seek to boost your operations,” Ms Rushwaya told a group of women miners in Insiza North — Matabeleland South. We are giving you a compressor to start with and if you feel you have other needs, you can request for assistance just as you have previously done.
“The end game for this is we want you to boost production in line with what President Mnangagwa is saying under the 2023 mining sector target and expedite the attainment of an upper middle income economy even before 2030.
“As a federation, we are engaging our male folk imploring them to include women in their syndicates and war veterans so that everybody can benefit from our natural endorsement.
“For war veterans, it’s even compelling because these are our liberators who sacrificed for us to be considered in mining projects and they ought to benefit from the gains of the freedom we enjoy by being incorporated into the main stream economy,” she said.
The ZMF boss also noted that there are mining assets that are being repossessed by Government under the “Use it or lose it” principle and said the miners’ body will soon make recommendations to Government to have women and war veterans prioritised in their redistribution.
She also said it was the federation’s hope that Government will continue prioritising locals in small scale mining, which requires less capital injection most of which can be mobilised by locals as opposed to conglomerate mining that needs huge capital injection.
Government on its part, has already taken the lead in so far as the empowerment of women and war veterans through the mining sector is concerned.
The two, are part of interests groups expected to benefit from proceeds of the newly formed mining giant — Kuvimba Mining House, which is a joint venture between Government and a consortium of investors.
Speaking at the unveiling of the mining giant in December last year, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said Government had identified five interests groups which will benefit from proceeds of the mining venture.
“The shareholding and dividends held by Government in Kuvimba will benefit the following groups: the youths, women and the war veterans, depositors and pensioners — who suffered losses during the currency reforms of 2019,” said Professor Ncube then.