By Kenneth Matimaire
Mutare, October 19, 2016 – THE ministry of Mines and Mining Development has embarked on an exercise to digitalise and synchronise all mining concessions in the country in a bid to curb land disputes and corruption.
Data harvesting of the concessions is expected to be carried out in the next 18 months as government has already secured a contractor.
The process is part of the five amendments that are being implemented on the archaic Mines and Minerals Act, which was implemented in 1963 by the Rhodesian government.
Mines Minister, Walter Chidhakwa on Monday indicated that they will digitalise all the mining concessions to ease the mode of doing business, define and list strategic minerals and encourage co-existence between agriculture and mining.
“We need to move from a system that says you count so many meters from a mountain to the corner of a peg and so many meters from a river to the corner of a peg. What if the river is eroded, it then means the pegging is no longer correct,” said Chidhakwa in a telephone interview.
“So we have to move with the world in terms of digitalising our systems. We have already contracted somebody, who is working. They will be going round (our provincial offices). They will be putting all the concessions on the computer over the next 18 months. Everything that we have will now be digitalised but obviously we will still keep the hard copies.”
Chidhakwa said that the development was as a result of the realisation that some ministry officials were being bribed to change mine pegs or issue claims that were already allocated to other miners.
He further indicated that the new system will reduce cases of conflict between mining and farming, where claims are issued to already existing agricultural farms.