Miners seek to decriminalise possession of gold

Source:NEWSDAY

THE Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) is set to hold a conference next month on the decriminalisation of gold possession.

The event will be held in Masvingo on February 25 under the theme Harnessing Artisanal Mining Operations for Sustainable Economic Development.

ZMF chief executive officer, Wellington Takavarasha said the conference was open to all stakeholders, who include policymakers, government bodies, suppliers and manufacturers, mining houses, law enforcement agencies, research institutes, non-governmental organisations, financial institutions and the artisanal small-scale miners.

“Some of the topics to be discussed include legal policy challenges in dealing with small-scale miners, artisanal miners’ revenue transparency, illicit financial flows, small-scale and large-scale miners relationships and artisanal miners development goals,” he said.

Takavarasha said the conference will discuss policy measures in the monetary policy statement by central bank governor John Mangudya to grow the gold sector.

In his monetary policy statement, Mangudya said government will pursue the decriminalisation of gold possession.

Mangudya said artisanal miners have for long been disenfranchised due to criminalisation of their operations.

“Zimbabwe is a potentially rich country. Its greatest strength or asset is human capital and its natural environment. We need to combine the two to transform,” he said.

Takavarasha said the country has a target of producing 24 tonnes of gold in 2016 according to treasury and government has instituted several measures aimed at ensuring the country attains the projected gold output.

Some of the measures include the setting up of the gold mobilisation and co-ordinating committees, increasing access to long-term financing and mechanisation of the artisanal and small-scale miners sector.

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