The Sunday News
Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
A ZIMBABWE Miners Federation (ZMF) Special General Council has pledged its support for under-fire president Ms Henrietta Rushwaya and unanimously passed a decision to rebrand.
The rebranding of the association was the major decision made during a meeting held in Kwekwe on Thursday with more than 20 affiliate associations from across the country unanimously supporting the motion. Among other decisions, the general council also unanimously declared Ms Rushwaya the legitimate leader of the federation, dismissing another structure led by Mr Ishmael Kagoro as null and void.
The decision comes amid the ZMF leadership led by Mr Kaguru challenging Ms Rushwaya’s leadership accusing her using “unorthodox” means of taking over the leadership of the ZMF. Last week the High Court declared the results and proceedings of the elections which brought Ms Rushwaya to the helm of the small-scale miners’ body invalid.
But Ms Rushwaya, has since appealed to the Supreme Court against a recent High Court order which stripped her of the presidency of the small-scale miners’ body.
Chair of the general council, Mr Makumba Nyenje said the council had agreed to rally behind Ms Rushwaya. He said until the Supreme Court rules otherwise (after Ms Rushwaya’s appeal), Ms Rushwaya would remain the legitimate leader.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Ms Rushwaya said the rebranding had nothing to do with the ongoing leadership wrangle but it came after the realisation that the organisation needed to be all encompassing.
“As ZMF, we had been requested by the general council as of 26 September 2018 with regards a proposal requesting that we rebrand from ZMF and come up with a new name. We are not totally divorcing ourselves from the functions of ZMF but we are only widening our scope to become an all-encompassing body.
“We are coming up with an all-inclusive approach where we are taking on board small-scale miners, artisanal miners, gold buyers among other smaller groups who have not been given due recognition in the past. We want to bring people together under one roof under umbrella representation where they can all be represented,” she said.
She said there was need to unite all miners so that they play their key role in economic development role and help achieve vision 2030.
“We are coming up with an approach that is in line with Vision 2030 as enunciated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa where we are targeting a middle-income economy by 2030. As miners, we should put all these squabbles aside and set our eyes on achieving our goal. Last year we managed to surpass our 30 tonne gold target, and if we unite again this time, nothing can stop us,” she said.
Although a new name was yet to be adopted, Ms Rushwaya said there were a number of names that were being toyed around with.
On the ongoing leadership wrangle, ZMF legal advisor Advocate Tapson Dzvete told the members that Rushwaya was still in charge as long as the Supreme Court was yet to make a ruling.