Wilson Dakwa, Business Reporter
STAKEHOLDERS in the mining sector have commended President Mnangagwa for appointing Minister Winston Chitando to head the Mines and Mining Development portifolio saying he has a reputable track record in the industry.
Environmental Management Agency (Ema) Matabeleland North provincial environmental manager, Mrs Chipo Mpofu-Zuze, said Minister Chitando was a seasoned technocrat in the mining field.
“When he was at still at Mimosa Mine, Mimosa became renowned for environmental stewardship and funding environmental solutions and this is still the case.
“This shows that he supports responsible mining through promoting safety and environmental friendly mining activities,” said Mrs Zuze-Mpofu.
Said Zimbabwe School of Mines (ZSM) chief executive officer, Mr Dzingirai Tusai: “Honourable Chitando is a seasoned miner who has experience in how to manage mines. He knows about mining challenges and has made achievements in mining. He chaired the Hwange Colliery board and during his time in office, there were positive changes”.
Minister Chitando has already pledged to facilitate the construction of the first fully fledged artisanal and small scale miners laboratory at ZSM at a cost of about $150 000, said Mr Tusai.
“After considering all this, I can safely say the mining sector has a minister who is very knowledgeable about mining and this guarantees growth in the sector,” he added.
ZSM is spearheading a programme to train miners at their places of operations as part of efforts to equip them with skills for the job.
Last week 55 women miners graduated with certificates after completing a course at Inyathi Training Centre in Bubi District.
“We realised that it was not always the case that miners can come to our campus to learn, so we decided to bring the education to them. The distance learning initiative for artisanal and small scale miners opens an interactive window for miners to interact with us,” said Mr Tusai.
“Our vision is to also offer our services to the Southern African Development Community after reaching out to the nation. For miners to receive the education, they need to form clusters and link up with ZMF.”
Meanwhile, small scale miners have called on EMA to reduce the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) review fees for them.
“EIA for small scale miners has to be reviewed and charged accordingly. Small scale miners cannot afford to pay the same amount for EIA, which is paid by large scale mines. We request that EMA takes this into consideration as we are struggling to raise the $3 500,” said Blessing Hungwe, a small scale miner. —@WilsonDakwa1