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MPs are being denied full access to the mining sector particularly the goings on in the Marange diamond mines, Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) has reported.
CNRG said MPs have been excluded from mining decisions and it appears information is a preserve of the executive.
In its report which was launched Wednesday, the NGO said the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy was denied the right to exercise its oversight role on Marange Diamond Companies twice between 2010 and 2012 to conduct on-site enquiries.
“The committee was only granted entry into Marange in 2012, two years after the enquiry had begun but it failed to conduct a public hearing with the community living in Chiadzwa and was advised it was inappropriate due to security reasons,” reads part of the 2014/15 report on communities, campanies and conflict.
In some cases, company and government officials lied under oath whilst giving evidence at some of the hearings, as “there seemed to be a lot of influence by the Ministry of Mines in discouraging these mining officials from attending Committee hearings.”
“Apart from being denied access to Marange, the Committee was constantly mobbed by security agents during the three day encampment in Mutare,” added the report.
According CNRG, the excessive efforts to deny full access to the extractive sector has led to claims that the executive, including the highest office on the land, indirectly benefitted through fronting companies.
The Chrome report by the MPs in June 2013 corroborates evidence of corrupt issuing of licences to mining companies.
The committee met with seven Chinese Companies with only one of the seven confirming adequate documentation legalising its operations in the country.
“The rest of the companies were evasive on how they acquired legal authority to operate and during a field visit to one of the Chinese owned companies, Sanhei in Guruve, workers complained of labor abuses, low wages and long working hours”
Mutasa Central legislator Trevor Saruwaka who is in the parliamentary committee shared the same sentiments, saying security agents were being used by the executive to deny the legislature any access to the mining sector.
“Since 2008, many attempts to visit Marange Diamond fields have failed as efforts to get a permit from Home Affairs Minister have proved to be difficult,” Saruwaka told Newzimbabwe.com.
Saruwaka said diamond mining is shrouded in secrecy and, as such, communities were suffering at the hands of Chinese with government and senior politicians not paying attention.
The county’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased from 4% to 16.9 % between 2009 and 2013 and mining is now the leading foreign investment earner, accounting for more than 50% of foreign currency inflows. source-newzimbabwe
photo-CIO Chief, Happyson Bonyongwe, ZNA General Constantine Chiwenga, and President Mugabe.