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People, Planet and Profit: Mines and Minerals Bill

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People, Planet and Profit: Mines and Minerals Bill


By Mugomeza Stanley

People, Planet, Profit is about business opportunity, operational improvement and competitive advantage. Change is inevitable and necessary for any development to take place. Numerous efforts have been made in the quest of doing away with the archaic Zimbabwean Mines and Mineral act (1963) but rather it has been more of much ado about nothing, in the end. The 2023 effort to enact a bill that will suit the desired Act ought to look more at the dichotomy between people, planet and profits as they are the core to any national discourse.

We live in a time of unprecedented change and within the business sector they face numerous challenges and opportunities that are more critical and complex than ever where the consequences of failure are unimaginable and the impact of their decisions is felt instantly across the planet. A fragile economy and a climate out of control, poverty across half the planet and scarcity of natural resources, the extinction of species and explosion in population, ethical dilemmas on every corner, and low confidence and trust in business: symptoms of a changing world. The Mineral reform in Zimbabwe is critical, historically the sector made significant contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and can do much more if properly managed.
The Mines and Minerals Bill in Zimbabwe as introduced to amend and strengthen the 1963 Mines and Minerals Act. The 1963 Act lacked provisions that would prevent mineral revenue leakages, opaque mining licensing, poor flows of taxes and royalties to the fiscus, corruption and human rights violations against host communities among other issues. Climate change has arisen to be one of the world’s most pressing challenges. Despite all sectors feeling the effects of Climate Change, energy, water, agriculture and food production, transport, construction, energy-intensive industries such as iron and steel, chemicals, and cement will endure the harsh effects of the leading global challenge and more has to be done in the quest to.

Climate change, energy security and economic stability are tightly linked, a focus on climate change should not distract from other major global challenges: sustainability requires environmental protection, employment growth and economic development to go hand-in-hand. Against this backdrop, while meeting the world’s growing demand for energy and addressing the lack of access, taking urgent action to tackle climate change is an imperative for all. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges influencing the way business is done today and in the decades to come. From energy supply to recycling and from construction to transportation, all enterprises should be encouraged to develop approaches that focus on how to make businesses more environmentally sustainable and people at the core of their operations. Business must be at the heart of the discussions on country pledges as it has the knowledge and experiences of practical and cost-effective initiatives for greenhouse gas reductions.

Policies must not lead to barriers to trade, innovation and growth but enable climate-friendly investments and dissemination of low carbon technologies and cleaner energy sources. Idealistically the minds and Mineral Bill ought to put the following into consideration:-
• The Amendment Bill should make it mandatory for mining companies to undertake HRIA and EIA before mining license are issued.
• The amendment bill ought to Ring fence tax evasion and avoidance, from sharing profits and losses across multiple projects. This will assist in preventing potential delays in receipt of revenue by the government and making companies meet their tax obligations.
• At the same Provision should be made in the MMAB for companies interested in mining to demonstrate financial and technical capacity before being allowed to bid for licenses and to disclose beneficial ownership.
• The Bill must provide for the regularization of artisanal miners.
The MMAB must adopt the Zimbabwe Mining Revenue Transparency (ZMRTI) to promote transparency and accountability in the mining sector. Mineral production and revenue transparency in mining have been very limited and this has contributed to loss of taxes for the fiscus. The legislative amendment should adopt the Zimbabwe Mining Revenue Transparency Initiative (ZMRTI) that compels companies to make their production and revenues a public record. This will enable both the state and citizens to monitor, curb mineral leakages and illicit financial flows. An absence of this provision in the past, non-disclosure of revenue and production statistics increased smuggling and illicit financial outflows.

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