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Heal Zimbabwe partner, GGZT moves in to address extractives related conflicts in Penhalonga

The presence of natural resources in most local communities has failed to bring fortunes and herald economic development. This is attributable to a series of conflicts emerging from mining companies, unregistered artisanal miners and eviction of local communities who rely on farming.

The exploration and extraction of gold in Penhalonga takes place at both formal and informal levels, with the former being done by established mining companies such as Redwing Mine and registered small-scale miners, whilst the latter is being done by artisanal miners. As such there exist fundamental governance issues which contribute to conflict in mining areas. There is lack of transparency by the mining authorities on regularization of artisanal mining, information asymmetry as it relates to awarding of mining licences, politicization in the allocation of mining claims and trading of mineral output, corruption by state security agents, inadequate consultation and lack of dispute resolution and grievance mechanisms resulting in cycles of conflicts.

It is against this background that Green Governance Zimbabwe Trust (GGZT) through Penhalonga Peace building and Extractives Initiatives Project supported by Heal Zimbabwe managed to engage host mining communities and stakeholders within the mining sector in Penhalonga through Community Peace building Forums and Justice and Conflict Resolution Clinics to build social cohesion in Penhalonga. GGZT managed to create a conduit through which the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development and artisanal miners can resolve their conflict which has in most cases let to the arrest of miners. Currently the Mines Ministry has embarked on a mobile regularisation program for unregistered miners and this has led to a decrease in cases of direct conflict between the two parties. The interventions saw, the training of 36 peace wardens by GGZT in Penhalonga, who are comprised of artisanal miners, registered miners, councillors, resident’s association representative and faith leaders.

The interventions led to the registration of 8 artisanal miners (1 female, 7 male) and are now operating legitimately. Added to that artisanal miners and host mining communities have since resorted to peaceful resolution of conflicts by opting for engagement rather than direct confrontation which has often resulted in violence and injuries. The community meetings revealed conflict issues which needed a multi-stakeholder approach because of the conflict dynamics. Green Governance Zimbabwe Trust also partnered the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Manicaland Provincial National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Committee, Penhalonga Youth Development Trust, Penhalonga Residents Association, Redwing Mine and Zivai Community Empowerment Trust to dialogue on the conflict between Mining Companies in Penhalonga and their Mining Communities.

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