The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Sunday News Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) has proposed a fee downward for the Mzingwane Rural District Council (RDC) which had hiked council levies up to US$20 000 for miners in the area.
In a statement, pursuant to the meeting held with the miners in Mzingwane District and the Council representatives on Monday, ZMF chief executive officer Mr Wellington Takavarasha said they were requesting for a downward trend of the fees.
“We are hereby kindly requesting that you revisit the fees on a downward trend and the following are the proposals; for small scale mining US$250, for medium scale-own milling US$500 and custom milling US$750.
“The basis of the request is due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has grossly affected the production by the small to medium scale mining sector. Please note that we promise to revert to the initial proposed fee structure in 2022 if the Covid-19 situation normalizes,” said Mr Takavarasha.
In October 2020, the Association of Rural District Councils of Zimbabwe agreed on a baseline tariffs for universal rate payers. The agreed baseline for minerals such as platinum and diamond was US$20 000, emerald US$9 800, gold US$12 000, lithium US$ 2 200, nickel US$4 500, silver US$8 000, copperUS$4 500, iron pyrites US$1 200, tantalite US$4 500, chrome US$2 200 and asbestos US$2 200.
“Following numerous complaints by Rate Payers citing astronomical variations of rates between local authorities, the association facilitated a process to have baseline tariffs to avert these differences.
“Notwithstanding, the submission, all parties that were negotiated with, were informed that according to Section 276 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Local Authorities have power to levy rates and taxes and generally raise sufficient revenue to carry out their responsibilities. In the same intellect, Section 96 of the RDC Act [Chapter 29:11] remains clear that Councils shall fix amounts to be paid as rates and levies,” read part of the agreed baseline tariffs for universal rate payers’ letter by the Association of Rural District Councils of Zimbabwe.
The meeting last year was attended by the Treasurers Forum National Executive, the rate payers, the Chamber of Mines and ZMF among others.