By Own Correspondent
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has tasked the Mines Audits teams to seriously look into matters affecting workers in the sector in a bid to protect the pivotal role they play in unlocking value for the entire economy.
He made the remarks recently on the occasion to commission Audit Teams tasked to look into a wide array of compliance issues in the extractive sector.
The audits will be carried out under the Responsible Mining Initiative launched Thursday on the back of abundant reports on systemic irregularities.
Poorly regulated mining activities in Zimbabwe have been blamed for causing extensive environmental destruction, creating artificial hills and open pits as well as promoting massive soil erosion, contaminating water and land with dangerous chemicals making them unusable for productive purposes.
Apart from looking at environmental compliance factors, Mnangagwa challenged the Audit teams to place workers’ welfare at the centre.
“Additionally, this Responsible Mining Initiative will put due emphasis on workers’ rights, community engagement as well as health and safety matters. Aspects on addressing the unique priority needs of local communities remain important.
“Employees who are indeed the anchor of production and productivity within mining activities should be awarded fair wages,” he said.
Mnangagwa said the workers must also be facilitated to attain the requisite job training to keep abreast with the ever-changing technological developments affecting the sector.
Attention will be accorded to adherence to aspects related to environmental management, immigration tax, labour relations and provisions of the Mines and Minerals Act, among others, in accordance with the Spirit and letter of our laws targeting all mining entities with no exception and regardless of size should abide by our country’s laws.