Traditional leaders have threw their weight behind the Association of Community Share Ownership Trusts (ACSOTZ)’s call for government to revisit the removal of the 51% quota of the Indigenisation Regulation and make sure that at least 10% of the extractive and natural resources sectors must be reserved for the local communities.
ACSOTZ secretary general Clever Mandizvidza submitted that it must be made mandatory that at least 10% of the extractive and natural resources be reserved for local communities.
He was speaking at the Policy Dialogue on the Prospects and Sustainability of community Ownership Trusts in Zimbabwe in Harare on Tuesday.
“We recommend, as CSOTs, that at least 10% of the extractive and natural resources sectors must be reserved for the communities. This must be made mandatory and not discretionary.”
“This is in light of values enshrined in Section 3(2)(j) of the Constitution which mandates State and Government Agencies to ‘the equitable sharing of national resources’,” he said.
Chiefs present agreed with him and called for government to revisit this legislation as a matter of urgency.
Chief Marange said traditional leaders are not benefiting in their respective areas where natural resources were being exploited by foreigners.
He said this has been caused by erosion of the social fabric which has resulted in the wanton neglecting of loyalty for the them by government as evidenced by the distribution of land on their behalf by the Lands Committee.
“It is shocking that Lands Committee distributes lands on behalf of a chief even when he does not have land and these government officials have vast tracts of land. It’s a clear loss of loyalty for kings by the government,” he said.
The CSOTs along with the Chiefs recommended that Zimbabwean communities should benefit, just like other regional countries that are benefiting up to 26%.
“The reason why 10% must be reserved for communities is that, a regional comparative has revealed that other neighbouring countries are benefiting up to 26% which include Zambia but not limited to South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique,” said Mandizvidza.
He added that Section 13(4) of The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment [No. 20] Act, 2013 provides that the State must ensure that local communities benefit from the resources in their areas. It recognizes that communities should benefit from the extraction of natural resources in their respective areas.
“Section 14(1) further outlines that; the State and all institutions and agencies of Government at every level must endeavour to facilitate and make measures to empower, through appropriate, transparent, fair and just affirmative action, all marginalized persons, groups and communities in Zimbabwe,” he added.
In terms of the Finance Act, only Diamonds and Platinum investors may support the CSOTs, if they wish, while investors exploiting other minerals are not bound by the 49/51% or any other percentage or any form of plough back mechanism to the adjacent communities.
CSTOs were set to be used as vehicles of broad based community social and economic empowerment through the harnessing of natural resources.
Mandizvidza said CSOTs who had invested their trust funds are also crying foul on the provisions of the Finance Act and its various Statutory Instruments which has rendered their deposits quoted in RTGS$ and they have lost value significantly.
“CSOTs who had invested their trust funds are also crying foul on the provisions of the Finance Act and its various Statutory Instruments which has rendered their deposits RTGS$ and they have lost value significantly,” he said.
According to the ministry of mines, Zimbabwe plans to grow mineral revenue from a projected $4,2 billion this year to $12 Billion by 2023.