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Corruption Hampers Women Participation In Mining

MUTARE– Fighting corruption in the mining sector is key to mainstream participation of women in the murky but lucrative mining sector, a top researcher has said.

By Donald Nyarota

Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ), researcher Samuel Matikiti made these remarks on the sidelines of the Women’s Symposium on Mining, organized in conjunction with Zimbabwe Allied Diamond Workers Union (ZIDAWU).

He said advancing the fight against the corrupt allocation of claims, including cases of double allocation, will enhance the participation of women in the mining sector.

He said for mining to drive sustainable development, it should rid the tag of corruption through the adoption of progressive laws, with the new Mines and Mineral Bill representing an opportunity for women to participate.

“Our main objective as Transparency International is to fight and eradicate corruption at all costs not monetary, but in putting all the effort as a nation in combating corruption, focusing on each and every sector.

“In mining, there is a lot of organized corruption in that sector. On current laws that govern the mining sector, are archaic they were drafted long back, while some attempts to amend the laws that govern the extractive industry were made, it’s still not enough as there are gaps.

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“Fighting corruption is key to removing barriers of entry for women in the sector, it entails full participation regardless of gender,” he said.

Matikiti said TIZ collaborated with ZIDAWU on this project to provide policy advice towards levelling the playing field, to encourage women to participate in the sector, which has seen an influx of unemployed youths seeking to seek out a living.

He said the government buying policy encourages people to sell gold illegally, we are losing gold from the sector because of the buying policy of the government.

“Currently a lot of miners have been pushed to go beyond the official means, we are losing up to 34 tonnes of gold through illicit means every year.

“Small scale and artisanal miners are not selling all the gold to the Fidelity Printers and Refineries but only submit tokens as a formality to just show they are registered. We are losing a lot of revenue that could be directed towards service delivery,” said Matikiti.

Women participation in the sector is limited in the mining sector despite the government having pronounced a US$12 billion strategy, for Manicaland alone 20 per cent are artisanal miners but women are not fully participating in the sector.

ZIDAWU president Cosmus Sunguro said the platform taps into different stakeholders to look at the challenges that make women fail to participate meaningfully in the mining value chain.

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Sunguro said women should position themselves to grab opportunities available for them in the government US$12 billion mining strategy.

“We are capacitating women to fight and cubing violation of women rights in the mining sector and to reduce the occurrence of sexual harassment in the workplace.

“The message is clear, let’s seize and explore the opportunities as women. Women have to take action and position themselves strategically to leverage on the 12 billion mining strategy and grab the opportunities coming from the sector,” said Sunguro.

TIZ is a nonprofit organization working to combat global corruption with civil societal anti-corruption measures and to prevent criminal activities arising from corruption, it’s a global movement working in over 100 countries to end the injustice of corruption.

The 2020 Women’s Symposium in the extractives is in its third year, ran under the theme ‘Probing and empowering women participation in extractive mining industry towards the attainment of USD12 billion mining economy’.

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