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Deputy Minister responds to Independent article

Statement by Hon. Gift Chimanikire, Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development in response to the story in the Zimbabwe Independent published on Friday 8th October 2010.

Gift Chimanikire

Statements attributed to me are not true and are an invention to suite spurious agendas which had nothing to do with my mission and agenda. The Gwanda meeting was undertaken as a prelude to the Deputy Minster’s visit to Visits to small scale and large scale mines in Matabeleland South and Bulawayo provinces.

The objectives of the meeting were to brief stakeholders on the legal framework that the ministry is working on i.e. proposed amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act, Corporate Social Responsibility Regulations being promulgated by the Ministry Review of the tax regime applying on the marketing of gold by small scale miners.

The meeting also accorded stakeholders the opportunity to raise areas where they would want government to intervene in order to facilitate their mining efforts. Stakeholders were drawn from small scale miners, Women in mining, Zimbabwe federation of miners, CID Precious minerals unit, Local councillors, Environmental management agency personnel, representatives of large scale miners, informal small scale miners (makorokoza) and youth in mining.

Gwanda is a gold mining area and discussion with the Deputy Minister after his address guided by a standard written text centred on small scale mining in the district. One member of the press tried to introduce the issue of diamond mining and issues of human rights violations in Chiadzwa and Marange.

His question was “Is it government policy to change customers who buy diamonds based on governments’ violation of human rights?” I responded that “Frankly I was not going to discuss Maguwu in a stakeholders meeting”.

Women in mining later wanted to know if they could apply to mine in Chiadzwa and Marange. I informed them that they were free to do so. At no stage did the United States role in marketing of diamonds become a topical issue as Gwanda is not a diamond mining district.

The author of the story stormed out of the meeting long before it was completed demonstrating his fury for my denial to use the platform to discuss so called “human rights violations in Chiadzwa” a topic that does not fall within the mandate of ministry of mines.

Hon. Gift Chimanikire

Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development.