Raising the Community voice in the Extractive Sector: Challenges and Future prospects of the Mining Sector in Zimbabwe

"The later part of the year 2013 saw the government of Zimbabwe making lukewarm efforts to address challenges bedeviling the mining sector that civil society groups working in this sector have been highlighting relentlessly for years with very limited response from government. Despite the mining sector failing to achieve the projected growth of 17.1 in 2013 statistics from the ministry of mines indicate that mining has significantly contributed to Zimbabwe’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from an average of 10.2 percent in the 1990s to 19.9 percent in 2009 and 2013 surpassing agriculture. Similarly, figures from the Zimbabwe Investment Authority for 2013 also reveal an upward trend of the mining sector attracting 207 million out of the 660 million worth of investment with the remainder 460.30 million falling into other 5 sectors of the economy. Between 2009 and 2013 the mining industry became the leading export sector accounting for over 60% of Zimbabwe’s total export earnings.Inspite of this growth, the mining sector’s contribution to fiscus has largely remains insignificant due to lack of transparency and accountability prevalent in the governance of the sector. The mining industry in Zimbabwe is saddled with archaic laws and policy inconsistencies that are fuelling corruption in government and aiding plundering of mineral resources by foreign companies. The failure by government over the years to overhaul the mining sector and introduce policies that guarantee revenue inflows to fiscus in order to sustain the country’s developmental needs ,has impacted negatively on the economy and increased the vulnerability of communities living in resource rich areas. Unconfirmed reports estimate that more than 2 billion dollars realised out of Marange diamond sales between 2012 and 2013 has disappeared amid outrageous salaries and benefits for executive officers running diamond mining ventures in Marange. Reliable sources indicate that there has been massive accumulation of wealth by executives of these mining ventures in recent years and some of them are suspected to have channeled huge financial resources realised from Marange diamond sales to multiple private business investments."