Press Release: Forty (40) Legislators trained on Mining Contract Monitoring, Review and Analysis
26 February 2014
Forty (40) Legislators trained on Mining Contract Monitoring, Review and Analysis
Harare- The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) organised a half day pilot
training meeting for legislators on contract monitoring, review and analysis.
The training which was held at Pandhari lodge in Harare on 25 February 2014 had the
participation of 40 legislators drawn from the Mines and Energy Portfolio Committee and the
Environment, Water and Climate Portfolio Committee.
The meeting is part of ZELA’s realisation that legislators play a key role in natural resources
Some of the issues covered during
legislators can access mining
contracts; the key elements of
mining contracts and the nature of
negotiations; and the oversight role
Speaking during the Training,
Mutuso Dhliwayo the Director of
ZELA said “this is the first in a series
of trainings that we have designed
for legislators in the 8th parliament to
effectively play their oversight,
representation and law making role”.
In another presentation, Veronica Zano, ZELA’s legal officer noted that legislators already
have significant power to provide effective oversight on the mining sector especially with
regards to contract monitoring, review and analysis.
The legislators were reminded that Section 315 of the new Constitution provides for the
enactment of an Act of Parliament for the negotiation and performance of state contracts.
This Act would set out how contracts will be negotiated, awarded and how procurement is
“The Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act also bequeaths significant power
on legislators to request anyone to appear before Parliament and this authority can be
exercised in requesting records of mining leases and documents such as the Environmental
Impact Assessments” said Shamiso Mtisi an Environmental lawyer with ZELA.
Legislative oversight on the mining sector is particularly important given the fact that
Zimbabwe’s vast mineral assets have not triggered the expected economic growth
renaissance. In addition, a history of poorly negotiated mining contracts including the
ZISCO-ESSAR deal, the NIEEBGATE scandal and the ill-fated Marange diamonds joint
ventures with Canadile Mining and Gye Nyame makes it imperative that legislators
effectively use their oversight, representation and law-making roles for improved natural
It was highlighted that legislators have a constitutional mandate to provide effective oversight
on natural resources governance particularly in providing checks and balances on the
There is a need for continued improvement in legislators’ capacity in terms of understanding
mining contracts as these can be complex. Weak mining contracts are a consequence of
weak laws with wide discretionary powers to individuals within government; power
imbalances between government and multinationals in negotiations; an under-resourced civil
service and secrecy.
The end result is that mining contracts often have weak environmental and social protection
clauses; and an over-accommodative fiscal regime characterised by tax incentives.
Gilbert Makore, ZELA’s project coordinator explained that the Extractive Industries
Transparency Initiative (EITI) is an initiative, which if implemented, would ensure improved
transparency over the mining sector in Zimbabwe. This is in line with the Ministry of
Finance’s Budget Statements from 2011 to date which have publicly declared that
government intends to adopt EITI.
It was recommended that legislators should; (i) Advocate for the reform of the Mines and
Minerals Act; (ii) Advocate for the renegotiation of poorly negotiated contracts; and (iii)
Advocate for the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative as a tool
to institutionalise transparency and accountability in the extractive sector.
Legislators applauded the hosting of the meeting but requested more information on the
Mines and Minerals Act specifically unpacking the weaknesses of the Act so as to
adequately prepare them for when a new Mines Bill is presented to Parliament.
“We appreciate this training, it has managed to give us important skills that we need but it is
our request that ZELA considers to allocate such matters ample time for in-depth
discussions as well as strategy formulation to push for legislative reform” said one
The workshop was made possible through the financial support of the Canadian Embassy and Oxfam
Inserted by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association
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