The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
BUSINESSMAN and entrepreneur, Dr Chamu Chiwanza has been appointed the Young Miners Foundation (YMF) patron to promote youths’ entrepreneurial participation in mining enterprise development and commercialisation.
In an interview, Dr Chiwanza who is also the group chief executive officer of Cernic Finance Group and former president of the Affirmative Action Group (AAG), said he would be working with the young miners to ensure they benefit from Government programmes.
“A majority of young miners in the country are not accounted for and some of them are found in very remote rural areas. We want to see that they are part of the devolution which the Government wants to implement in every province and we must ensure that they take part in the devolution programmes,” he said.
Dr Chiwanza also noted that during visits to provinces they were going to make sure that at least 10 young miners’ representatives in each province of the country get a chance to meet the President through the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
He added: “Young miners are the future hence Government and the markets must take them seriously. They must not be viewed as unskilled miners or small-scale subsistence miner, but we should make sure that we find a way for them to contribute to the fiscus of the country and at least have a record of who is who.”
Dr Chiwanza said they were also working on coming up with possible solutions to assist young miners with mechanisation.
He said as mining is exempted from lockdown regulations, young miners should acquire the right letters and their papers should be in order so that they can continue working.
Meanwhile, YMF acting chairperson, Miss Melody Tsekeni said they have created the Young Green Mining Council in a bid to accelerate the research, development and deployment of green mining technologies and practices.
Miss Tsekeni also said the council also aims to enhance innovation and productivity in mining and improve environmental performance as there was a need for research-centric green mining support.
She added: “Our target is that of the development of innovative energy-efficient technologies required for mining so that only clean water, rehabilitated landscapes and healthy ecosystems remain. This will in turn improve the mining sector’s environmental performance, to promote innovation in mining.”
She also highlighted that as measures to minimise and mitigate the environmental effects of mining such as mine rehabilitation the areas could be used for production of food crops, energy crops for biofuel such as castor bean, wildlife habitats and relocation sites.
YMF chief executive officer Mr Payne Kupfuwa said they were working tirelessly to make sure that the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development sets up a youths in mining desk.
He said this would advance youths entrepreneurial participation in mining to boost production quantities in view of the attainment of the US$12 billion mining economy by 2030.
Mr Kupfuwa said they were set to launch the mining safety campaign on January 21 that is meant to bring awareness to miners on how to prevent the devastating deaths that were occasionally witnessed in the sector.
The small-scale mining sector in Zimbabwe has been hit by a plague of deaths and critical injuries due to unsafe mining practices with poor adherence to Health and Safety standards. Last year there was a rampant increase in occurrence of these incidents with more than 30 mining related fatalities recorded.