Press Release
26 February 2014
Forty (40) Legislators trained on Mining Contract Monitoring, Review and Analysis
Harare- T...
It was highlighted that legislators have a constitutional mandate to provide effective oversight
on natural resources gove...
of 2

Press Release: Forty (40) Legislators trained on Mining Contract Monitoring, Review and Analysis

This a press release on ZELA's training of Forty (40) Legislators on Mining Contract Monitoring, Review and Analysis.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Published in: News & Politics      
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Press Release: Forty (40) Legislators trained on Mining Contract Monitoring, Review and Analysis

  • 1. Press Release 26 February 2014 Forty (40) Legislators trained on Mining Contract Monitoring, Review and Analysis Harare- The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) organised a half day pilot training meeting for legislators on contract monitoring, review and analysis. The training which was held at Pandhari lodge in Harare on 25 February 2014 had the participation of 40 legislators drawn from the Mines and Energy Portfolio Committee and the Environment, Water and Climate Portfolio Committee. The meeting is part of ZELA’s realisation that legislators play a key role in natural resources governance. Some of the issues covered during the meeting included; how legislators can access mining contracts; the key elements of mining contracts and the nature of negotiations; and the oversight role of Parliament. Speaking during the Training, Mutuso Dhliwayo the Director of ZELA said “this is the first in a series of trainings that we have designed for legislators in the 8th parliament to ensure that they (legislators) effectively play their oversight, representation and law making role”. In another presentation, Veronica Zano, ZELA’s legal officer noted that legislators already have significant power to provide effective oversight on the mining sector especially with regards to contract monitoring, review and analysis. The legislators were reminded that Section 315 of the new Constitution provides for the enactment of an Act of Parliament for the negotiation and performance of state contracts. This Act would set out how contracts will be negotiated, awarded and how procurement is done. “The Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act also bequeaths significant power on legislators to request anyone to appear before Parliament and this authority can be exercised in requesting records of mining leases and documents such as the Environmental Impact Assessments” said Shamiso Mtisi an Environmental lawyer with ZELA. Legislative oversight on the mining sector is particularly important given the fact that Zimbabwe’s vast mineral assets have not triggered the expected economic growth renaissance. In addition, a history of poorly negotiated mining contracts including the ZISCO-ESSAR deal, the NIEEBGATE scandal and the ill-fated Marange diamonds joint ventures with Canadile Mining and Gye Nyame makes it imperative that legislators effectively use their oversight, representation and law-making roles for improved natural resources governance.
  • 2. It was highlighted that legislators have a constitutional mandate to provide effective oversight on natural resources governance particularly in providing checks and balances on the Executive’s performance. There is a need for continued improvement in legislators’ capacity in terms of understanding mining contracts as these can be complex. Weak mining contracts are a consequence of weak laws with wide discretionary powers to individuals within government; power imbalances between government and multinationals in negotiations; an under-resourced civil service and secrecy. The end result is that mining contracts often have weak environmental and social protection clauses; and an over-accommodative fiscal regime characterised by tax incentives. Gilbert Makore, ZELA’s project coordinator explained that the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is an initiative, which if implemented, would ensure improved transparency over the mining sector in Zimbabwe. This is in line with the Ministry of Finance’s Budget Statements from 2011 to date which have publicly declared that government intends to adopt EITI. It was recommended that legislators should; (i) Advocate for the reform of the Mines and Minerals Act; (ii) Advocate for the renegotiation of poorly negotiated contracts; and (iii) Advocate for the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative as a tool to institutionalise transparency and accountability in the extractive sector. Legislators applauded the hosting of the meeting but requested more information on the Mines and Minerals Act specifically unpacking the weaknesses of the Act so as to adequately prepare them for when a new Mines Bill is presented to Parliament. “We appreciate this training, it has managed to give us important skills that we need but it is our request that ZELA considers to allocate such matters ample time for in-depth discussions as well as strategy formulation to push for legislative reform” said one parliamentarian. The workshop was made possible through the financial support of the Canadian Embassy and Oxfam Novib. Inserted by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association email: zela@mweb.co.zw or darlington@zela.org follow us on our Facebook page/ twitter- ZELA_Infor

Related Documents