Bulilima West legislator Dingumuzi Phuti has called for mining policies which will compel miners to remit part of the proceeds from the minerals to fund development initiatives in mining communities.
Phuthi, while addressing the National Assembly on Wednesday, said a tour by legislators across the country’s mining communities revealed that there is no benefit coming from the extractives.
He said there was gold found in Mangwe district, Plumtree, but to date no development has been done and people in the area have been left to deal with uncovered pits.
“When people are mining there should be a policy put in place because the country is losing a lot of money on gold mining. People from communities where mining activities are happening are not getting anything at all,” said Phuti.
“In Mangwe gold was discovered. People are just digging all over and the area is now marred with uncovered pits. Government must make sure that it protects these areas because these people are not taking care of our environment,” he said.
Phuti noted that in areas such as Chiadzwa, traditional leaders are neither consulted nor updated on the mining activities taking place in their areas.
“We went to Chiadzwa and we really felt pain when got there because we realised Chief Chiadzwa does not even know what a diamond looks like. This therefore means that these people who are mining are just doing whatever they feel like,” he said.
“On our way back we were told to abandon the road we had initially used. The state of the road there is very bad. People from Chiadzwa are not happy. They said diamonds are being mined but there is no development,” said the legislator.
Phuti explained that Chiadzwa people preferred that diamond mining activities be stopped as they have caused disharmony in the community.
“They (Chiadzwa people) are appealing to Government to put in place policies that will make them benefit from the mining activities that are taking place in their area. They do not have water and clinics. The miners there should at least rehabilitate roads and build schools so that the community can benefit,” he said.