By Staff Reporter
Mines Minister Winston Chitando has angered Zimbabwe Prospectors for sidelining them in the ongoing Mines and Minerals Bill Consultations.
Speaking to this publication in an interview, Zimbabwe Prospectors Association president Samson Dzingwe slammed Chitando for sidelining the prospectors in the Mines and Minerals Bill Consultations.
“We are suprised to hear the Minister saying nobody will be consulted expect ZMF and Chamber of Mines. That is a big problem. Why is the minister forcing people to affiliate to associations which do not represent their interests. Why should the Zimbabwe Prospectors Association be forced yo affiliate to ZmF when we are technical professionals. We are not mines why should we affiliate to a miners association when we are not miners,” he said.He added that Chitando was not only being unfair but also segregative.
“That is very unfair, unconstitutional, segregative, uncalled for, because our constitution does not force people or associations of a certain group to affiliate to a certain group so that they can contribute to national affairs,” he said.
Dzingwe said as an association they not only have a right to association but must also be given a platform to make contributions to the bill.
” To associate or disassociate is a constitutional right it must not be forced on people. When and how a Minister forces people on their own constitutional rights to associate with certain associations, so that those people can be heard that raises eyebrows,” he said.
He let rip.
“It becomes questionable the conduct of the Minister. Is the Mines and Minerals Bill a private and personal issue or it is an issue of public and national interests,” he said.
Dzingwe believes its a public issue.
“If it is a public issue it must be open to the public, because all bills must go through public consultations. There is no reason at all to go through a private consultation.”He called on the Minister to be inclusive in the consultations.
“The consultations are not inclusive, there are sidelining other stakeholders because there are being done in a bottleneck way.”
Dzingwe added that if the minister continued sidelining other critical stakeholders there would be left with no choice but to approach the President.
“We use every available means for us to be heard. We will take the issue to parliament. If it means going to the highest office in the land we will do so. There is now way a law can be crafted without people’s input.”
Dzingwe in 2018 once wrote to President Emmerson Mnangagwa expressing his reservations on the Bill.
The Bill failed to get the Presidential assent and had to be sent back to the public for consultations.