The Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Small-Scale Miners Association of Zambia (SSMAZ), which will see the two countries sharing experiences on the small-scale mining sector.
SSMAZ representative, Mr Alfred Lungu, was in the country last week where he attended the ZMF annual general meeting and conference in Gweru.
In his solidarity message, he said the two associations have signed a MoU in a quest to learn from each other.
“As you know Zimbabwe and Zambia are like Siamese twins, we have also signed an MoU with ZMF that will see us exchanging notes as organisations and support operations of our small-scale miners,” said Mr Lungu.
He said Zambia stood ready to support Zimbabwe to ensure the country fully benefits from its vast natural resources.
“I want to assure you that we stand ready to share experiences with you. We have been in the business for more than 10 years now. We have prepared documents and data that we will like to share with our Zimbabwean friends “ said Mr Lungu.
He said the pact between the two organisations seeks to create uniform policies in areas like pricing and taxation, among others.
“Our people work hard and toil to get the minerals from underground only to be fleeced on pricing. We want to come up with a uniform pricing model that appeals to both Zimbabwe and Zambia with a view of spreading to the region in the long run,” he said.
Mr Lungu, who is also Zambia Stock Exchange chairperson and Zambia Revenue Authority deputy chair, said he also intends to use his influence to improve taxation of the sector.
“I would also use my influence to try and address the issue of taxation, which has become a big thorn in the flesh. Working with our Zimbabwean counterparts I hope this can be achieved,” he said.
Mr Lungu hailed Zimbabweans for being resilient in face of sanctions imposed by the West.
“Zimbabweans are very strong people who despite the sanctions, continue working hard. As Zambia we are in total support of the lifting of the sanctions that are affecting the day to day living of people,” said Mr Lungu.
ZMF president, Ms Henrietta Rushwaya, said the MoU seeks to create mutual benefit for both countries. “The agreement is going to benefit both countries. Zambia is more experienced than us and we seek to benefit both in technical expertise as well as financial benefits from Zambia”.
“We have been working together with our Zambian friends and we look forward to our relationship to grow so that we learn from each other and help each other counter challenges we face as small-scale miners,” she said.
The Zambian delegation was part of the three foreign delegations that attended the AGM. South Africa and China were also represented at the indaba.
Source: Lusaka Times