Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) executive director Farai Maguwu (FM) has called for a relocation policy to protect rights and interests of people evicted from resource-rich areas.
He made the remarks during an interview with NewsDay (ND) senior reporter Cliff Chiduku. The interview discussed tax incentives, the partial privatisation of Fidelity Printers and Refiners and a wide range of issues. Below are excerpts of the interview:
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ND: Mining is regulated by a number of laws. It is mandatory that before any mining activity commences, there should be an environmental impact assessment certificate. However, of late, we have seen many people who were arbitrarily removed from ecologically sensitive areas to pave way for mining operations. We have seen this in Marange, Mutoko and Manhize in Chivhu to mention but a few. How should this be handled?
FM: Zimbabwe needs a relocation policy that clearly lays down how mining-induced displacements should be handled. This must include steps to be taken if people are to be moved. There must be fair valuation of properties such as buildings, boreholes, land and orchards, among others for compensation purposes. People living on communal land have rights. Their land cannot be prospected on without their consent. There are certain measures prescribed by law that are not being respected, for example, distance from which to start prospecting from a river and homesteads, among others.
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