Launch of PWYP-Zimbabwe

Source: PWYP Zimbabwe
Date: 6 Sep 2021

The Zimbabwe Chapter of the Publish What You Pay (PWYP) campaign was launched in Harare on the 26th of August 2011 at an event organized by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) with support from the Southern Africa Resources Watch (SARW) and the Publish What You Pay Africa Secretariat. The event was attended by more than 50 participants drawn from civil society organisations, community groups, parliament, government and mining companies.

Publish What You Pay is a global network of civil society organisations that are united in their call for oil, gas and mining revenues to form the basis for development and improve the lives of ordinary citizens in resource rich countries. PWYP undertakes public campaigns and policy advocacy to achieve disclosure of information about extractive industry revenues and contracts. The EITI is a tripartite and voluntary initiative that requires compliant countries to disclose and publish payments made by mining companies to government and government in turn to disclose the revenue received from mining companies.

The objectives of the launch were;

  • to create an understanding of the PWYP campaign globally and regionally,
  • to explain the motivation behind the establishment of the Publish What You Pay Zimbabwe Chapter,
  • to come up with possible advocacy and campaign issues in Zimbabwe’s extractive sector
  • and to build up the membership of the Publish What You Pay Zimbabwe Chapter.

The launch event involved discussions on what the PWYP Africa programme is all about, experiences from Mozambique and Zambia and the importance of promoting transparency and accountability in Africa’s mining sector. In addition, the event also resulted in a clear understanding and discussion on the importance of civil society groups in Zimbabwe joining the PWYP movement.

The major outcomes of the launch event included identification of advocacy issues on which PWYP Zimbabwe will focus on in the coming years and the increase of the Chapter membership in order to have a broad based social movement that can effectively and efficiently call government and mining companies to disclose mining contracts and revenues for the benefit of the public. Some of the advocacy issues that PWYP-Zimbabwe will focus on include pushing the government and mining companies in Zimbabwe to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and building the capacity of civil society organisations, the media and community activists on various strategies that can be used to promote transparency and accountability through the PWYP campaign.

In addition, PWYP Zimbabwe Chapter will also target ongoing and future legislative reform processes on mining or with implications on mining such as the proposed Diamond Revenue Bill, the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill, the Mineral Policy and the Constitutional reform process. These policy processes should be anchored on transparency and accountability principles. In the same vein, the coalition will also target various existing laws that hinder access to information and public participation such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Public Order and Security Act for reform.

The other outcome of the launch event was agreement by the PWYP-Zimbabwe coalition on the need to promote and protect the civil, political, economic, social, environmental and cultural rights of communities affected by actions or omissions of state entities or private mining companies. Another important step that may be considered is an assessment of what incentives or certification system can be created by the PWYP coalition to encourage mining companies and government departments to disclose payments and revenue.

The PWYP-Zimbabwe coalition also agreed to embark on a membership recruitment drive. However, this will be preceded by a thorough stakeholder assessment by the secretariat and the core group in order to ensure that all relevant stakeholders in rural and urban communities become part of the movement and actively participate. The PWYP coalition will reach out to all corners of the country.

The PWYP Zimbabwe Chapter will leverage on proposed and ongoing government initiatives such as the proposed Zimbabwe Mining Revenue Transparency (ZMRT) initiative which will be launched by the Zimbabwe Government on the 12th of September, 2011. The stated purpose of the ZMRT is: “a national participatory process to promote dialogue and trust among stakeholders in the mining industry and enable greater transparency of Zimbabwe’s mining revenues and sector information –as a first step towards Zimbabwe a first step towards Zimbabwe adopting the EITI standard and applying to join the global EITI process”.

The objectives of the ZMRT are: to create a participative and multi-stakeholder process in order to promote dialogue and build trust by creating an effective forum for addressing mining sector issues and potentially providing concrete recommendations to national policy makers for decisions and action, to generate independently-reconciled information for public dissemination setting out all significant mining-sector revenues flows paid by the industry and received by government ; and to create a platform for ongoing policy reforms designed to achieve good governance of the nation’s mineral resources and promote investment for the benefit of the nation.

It is important to note that while the ZMTR initiative shares the broad EITI principles, it is for the time being designed as a wholly Zimbabwean initiative to be implemented by Zimbabwean stakeholders in order to meet national policy goals. However, it is hoped that in the long term the ZMRT initiative will evolve to be part of the global EITI movement and begin applying the EITI rules and standards as envisaged by the Medium Term Plan launched by the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion in July, 2011. The Medium Term Plan calls for the adoption of EITI as a policy tool for mineral resources governance.

The ZMRT initiative can be seen as a policy response to the work that ZELA and other civil society organisations have done over the past two years to promote transparency and accountability in the mining sector and which culminated in the launch of the PWYP Zimbabwe Chapter.

For more information on the launch of the PWYP Zimbabwe Chapter, contact the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association on [email protected] or Mutuso Dhliwayo on the following e-mail address: [email protected]