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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
HomeMiningGranite Mining Companies Flagged For Rights Abuses

Granite Mining Companies Flagged For Rights Abuses

A social justice lobby group ActionAid Zimbabwe commissioned research has revealed that socio-economic and political situation in the country contributed to human rights violation in the mining sector for the period 2020-21 period.

In a report titled the state of business and human rights in the mining sector in Zimbabwe 2021, ActionAid said the Covid-19 pandemic was a catalyst for the violations.

“Throughout 2020 and 2021, Zimbabwe’s socio-economic and political situation remained a key contributory factor in the violation of human rights in the mining sector in Zimbabwe. The effects of Covid-19 cannot also be understated as it was a catalysts for two above mentioned key contributors. For the granite industry the economic crises during this period meant low wages, unfair labour practices, poor5 employment conditions and other abuses of employees at the work places.

“In the same period, communities continued to face human rights abuses and there are no redress or protest mechanisms from formal or informal dispute resolution institutions. The violation includes loss of land, forcible evictions, land degradation, noise and air pollution, siltation of rivers, disposal of granite ruble on land meant for subsistence agriculture and poor compensation values paid to forcibly relocated families,” read the report

The report said mining companies were the greatest perpetrators of the violations and regulatory bodies were complicity in the violations.

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“Without doubt, granite mining companies remained the greatest perpetrators of human rights violations between 202 and 2021. Complicit in the violations are regulatory and administrative bodies that issue licences and monitor compliance. These institutions include environmental regulatory bodies: labour inspectorate agencies; road infrastructural authorities; rural land administration authorities and mining agencies.

“As a bunch, these institutions have failed to safeguard and protect the human rights of communities by failing in their legal mandate of enforcing compliance, undertaking effective monitoring and inspections, ordering punitive penalties or recommending criminal punishment of granite mining companies.

“There are no adequate mechanisms in granite mining law to protect the human rights of communities affected by granite mining activities. No amendments to the archaic and outdated primary mining legislation were done between 2020 and 2021. Further, no new legislation was passed in this period that enhanced the rights of communities or imposed human rights obligations to granite mining companies,” said the ActionAid findings

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