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Govt Challenged To Distribute Mining Revenue Fairly

MUTARE– Civil society has called for transparent distribution of revenue realized from the mining sector through taxation models which promote social service delivery and empowerment of women.

By Donald Nyarota

Speaking at the ongoing second annual Manicaland Women Symposium on the extractives, Action Aid governance coordinator Darlington Chidarara, called for improved investment of mineral revenue in social economic rights.

The symposium jointly organized by Zimbabwe Diamonds and Allied Workers Union (ZIDAWU) and Action Aid drew women from mining communities, community based organizations, stakeholders and government officials, to discuss issues affecting women in the mining sector.

Chidarara said there was a need for government to promote sustainable mining practices and enhance tax justice systems which ensure mining revenue is channelled to wards development.

“It’s not a secret that our mining is the backbone of the economy especially when it comes to issues of foreign direct investment and this means that with the “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra, the mining sector is critical in turning around the fortunes of our economy.

“We are therefore calling for sustainable mining practices and an improvement in natural resource governance.  We can eradicate poverty as as long as  women meaningfully participate towards this cause

“The government must have a tax justice system whereby revenue from mining companies should be ploughed back to develop host community and ensure sustainable development,” said Chidarara.

He added, “We cannot achieve social justice, poverty reduction and gender equality if parliamentarians and government are  not held accountable on mining resources.”

ZIDAWU president Cosmas Sunguro said women should take up leadership roles to counter the negative effects of mining which are more pronounced on women.

He said women should be agents of positive change in the society by getting involved in issues that affect communities.

“The negative consequences of mining affect women the most despite the fact that they play fringe roles in terms of leadership not only in mining but across the board.

“As ZIDAWU, we urge women to be proactive and take up leadership roles as agents of change to promote social justice in their local communities. Women have to do it for themselves and ensure that they participate in natural resource governance,” said Sunguro

Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) representative Getrude Chimange called for judicious stewardship of natural resources for the benefit of future generations.

“Effectively addressing stewardship challenges entails reconciling the connections between the practical use and dependence on natural resources, related governance and managerial aspects, as well as the overriding conceptual considerations framing these practices.

“We have a choice, we can destroy and degrade our natural capital for short term gains, and leave an impoverished inheritance for future generations.

“Or we can preserve and enhance the country, for ourselves, for future generations and for all the other creatures who we share the globe with, otherwise its better to leave the minerals underground,” said Chimange.

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