Press release: Provincial Alternative Mining Indaba 4 and 5 June 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
29 May 2014
Provincial Alternative Mining Indaba focusing on creating
space for community voices
The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) will host over 100
delegates during the Midlands Provincial Alternative Mining Indaba (PAMI)
from the 4th
to the 5th
of June 2014 in Shurugwi, in the Midlands Province of
The Midlands Provincial Alternative Mining Indaba is the first of two Provincial
Alternative Mining Indabas for 2014, the second of which will be held in
The 2014 Provincial Alternative Mining Indabas for Midlands and Manicaland
will be held under the theme “Creating space for community voices on
mining” which conjures the importance of providing a platform for
communities to engage and express their views and concerns on mining.
The Midlands and Manicaland provinces are hosting the Indabas because
they have the biggest mining operations in Zimbabwe, which include chrome,
platinum, gold, and diamond mining.
The inaugural Provincial Alternative Mining Indabas (PAMIs) in the two
provinces were hosted in 2013 under the theme “Making Mining
Responsive to Community Needs”
The 2013 theme was calling for attention on the environmental, economic,
social and cultural rights of communities that are normally negated by mining
companies and the government who are normally driven by the profit the
In Zimbabwe, Mining is identified as the lead sector based on its contribution
to both the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and export earning having
contributed nearly 20% and 60% respectively in 2013.
The Government of Zimbabwe’s five (5) year development plan, the
“Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio Economic Transformation”
(ZimAsset) underpins mineral beneficiation as an important development
This prominent economic role ascribed to the mining sector is, however, not
matched by significant mineral revenue flows to the Treasury as well as
benefits to ordinary Zimbabweans especially communities that live adjacent to
The government has since recognized the same resulting in the formulation of
Community Share Ownership Trusts (CSTOs) under the Indigenization and
Economic Empowerment Programme.
These CSOTs have been established in mineral resource rich areas to bring
about the much needed development.
The CSOTs are also meant to ensure that communities undertake
development projects of their choice in order to promote development and
poverty alleviation in their areas.
Since 2011, CSOTs have been launched in Tongogora (by Unki Mine),
Zvishavane (by Mimosa), and Marange-Zimunya, Gwanda, Bindura and
In some areas where the Trusts have been established, developmental
projects have been witnessed and these include building of schools, clinics,
rural electrification schemes and building of dams.
However, because of the unbalanced power relations between the
management and the community members, within the CSOT, social
accountability remains weak.
Consequently, communities are crying foul that they are being excluded in the
management of resources that are meant for their benefit.
Further, community rights are not being respected and are wantonly violated
with little access to remedy.
Some of the rights violation are pollution of water and air, land degradation
and forced mining induced relocations.
Given this obtaining situation, the PAMIs therefore seek to promote active and
meaningful participation by communities in natural resources governance.
They are platforms for communities to dialogue with government and mining
companies on mining impacts on their livelihoods, rights and environment.
“Despite the potential of the mining sector to contribute to economic
development, the sector is presently causing untold suffering to the
communities living adjacent to mining operations.” Said Veronica Zano a legal
officer with ZELA who is the overal coordinator of the PAMIs.
“Some of the problems affecting mining communities include issues of forced
evictions and relocations of communities from their traditional lands without
free and prior informed consent and lack of fair and adequate compensation
in order to pave way for mining activities.” She continued.
These irregular relocations are leaving a lot of poor men, women and children
suffering from loss of agricultural and grazing lands, thereby, threatening their
food security and loss of livelihoods.
The situation is even worse for rural women as they are heavily dependent on
subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods.
This year’s PAMIs will provide an opportunity for communities affected by
mining activities to interact with government, mining companies, the media
and CSOs on the challenges they face in line with mining activities and to
come up with possible solutions to address them.
It is ZELA’s expectation that by the end of the PAMI new advocacy strategies
and measures for activists in Zimbabwe will be developed to foster
accountability from government and mining entities.
The PAMI should also develop clear recommendations to government on its
implementation strategy of the best model for community empowerment as
well as encourage community input on policy and legal reforms.
Through the media, nation-wide dialogue shall be promoted on the critical
issues that shall be discussed. ZELA shall also utilize social media to
promote the virtual presents of many whom because of resources might not
be able to physically participate.
With support from:
For more Information contact: