By Amanda Mavhaza
Artisanal and Small Scale Miners Association looks determined not to throw in the towel any time soon as they have scaled up their fight against some provisions of the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill that they deem discriminatory and if passed will elbow out their members to Parliament.
ASSA recently wrote to both the Clerk of Parliament and Speaker seeking redress of their issues.
This is despite Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando’s vow that he will not listen to discerning voices until they table their issues through embattled Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF).
In letter gleaned by this reporter, ASSA wants the August House to consider their input before the Bill is passed into law.
“Please be advised that as ASSA, we appreciate some improvements and amendments in the (Mines and Minerals) Bill, final HB. 19, 2015.
“However, there are areas which we have noted with concern that if these amendments are to be adopted, then small scale miners will not enjoy and benefit compared to a situation whereby a status quo is maintained.
“Therefore, we are kindly asking for your highly esteemed office to allow us, the representatives of the small-scale miners to be present when the bill shall be presented and also for us to participate through presentation of our head of arguments objecting the areas which we feel as small-scale miners that are against the ethos of our new constitution Amendment No. 20, Act 2013 and the interests of the stakeholders,” read part of the letter.
Meanwhile ASSA has embarked on a nationwide tour engaging small scale miners with intention to find lasting solutions to their problem.
ASSA Public Relations Officer Derek Katsenga said following successful engagement with miners, a fund will be availed to assist them
“We are engaging miners across the country for their input and solving issues and their problems affecting miners in general.
“A fund is going to be availed to help miners. So those willing to join please do so as we are working to perfect everything transparently,” he said.