Zimbabwe’s new Mines and Minerals Act is taking long to come due to the understaffing of the Attorney General's office, which is currently focusing on the constitutional amendments.
The Mines and Mineral Bill is reportedly stuck in Parliament since 2015 and President Emmerson Mnangagwa ordered last year that it be taken back to parliament after some stakeholders complained that they were left out in the drafting phase.
"The AG are overwhelmed and understaffed and reforms of the Ministry of Finance and we hope that slowly they will be increasing their staff, they may take four or so weeks before they can complete the bill," chairperson of the parliamentary committee on mines and minerals development, Edmond Mukaratigwa was quoted as saying by Chat263.
Zimbabwe's mineral sector has been operating without a binding legal framework following the repeal of the previous Act in 2015.
Mukaratigwa said there was currently chaos and disorder in the country's mining sector.
Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) director Shamiso Mtisi said they are not happy with the slow pace of amending the Mines and Minerals Act.
"As part of the civil society that has been following the mines and Minerals bill we are not happy that the process has taken long and that the process has also not moved as we expected mainly because of the congested calendar at the Attorney General's office,” he said.
"We had hoped the process would move faster to address issues like the establishment of the Cadastre system which is included in the draft bill, balancing interest of miners and farmers and also the issues of restructuring the mining affairs board and also issues to do with environmental rehabilitation processes."
Image credit: pixel2013 (Pixabay)