Session 5 - The EITI experience in Zimbabwe
The Zimbabwe case study was presented by Thabani Mpofu, who revealed that the EITI process started in 2010. Following the various crises in the country, which resulted in a drop in agricultural production, it was necessary to start relying on another economic sector – namely, the mining sector. In July 2011, it was announced that the EITI was being implemented but it is only in 2015 that the initiative will be effective. Therefore, a Zimbabwean-type EITI and a Secretariat (ZOG) were created so that some objectives could be achieved before then.
The Zimbabwe case study was presented by Thabani Mpofu, who revealed that the EITI process started in 2010. Following the various crises in the country, which resulted in a drop in agricultural production, it was necessary to start relying on another economic sector – namely, the mining sector. In July 2011, it was announced that the EITI was being implemented but it is only in 2015 that the initiative will be effective. Therefore, a Zimbabwean-type EITI and a Secretariat (ZOG) were created so that some objectives could be achieved before then. In the ZOG, there are three stakeholders, including the government (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Mines, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe), mining companies (ZMDC, MMCZ and the Chambers of Mines) and civil society (two civil society organisations and universities). The speaker stated that there were two major challenges to overcome – the mistrust between government and civil society, and the lack of financial resources.
According to Zimbabwean civil society, the Zimbabwe Mining Revenue Transparency (ZMRT) project is civil society’s reaction to the manner in which government manages the revenue from diamonds. The creation of the ZMRT involved:
- Civil society organisations carrying out a study with the support of SARW on the importance of the EITI in managing resources;
- Acceptance of the concept by a broad range of civil society organisations; and,
- Opposition from the government based around State sovereignty (although a parliamentary committee is going to be set up to monitor the mining sector).
ZMRT is the confirmation of the willingness of Zimbabwean civil society to promote a culture of transparency and accountability in the mining sector. Four years ago, it was not possible to speak about transparency in the extractive industries, but now everyone is talking about it and it is being referred to as a national emergency. The delegate to the regional conference added that civil society is busy proposing reforms in order to increase transparency in the country. Along with a new constitution, civil society organisations are considering how to restructure the law governing mining extraction in Zimbabwe, which dates back to the colonial period.
But there are two serious challenges to further progress:
- A coalition government where the two political parties do not have the same vision; and,
- The on-going battle between civil society and parts of government – and no clear idea about how to reach a compromise.
About the author(s)
Claude Kabemba is the Director of the Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW). In 2006, the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) asked him to spearhead the formation of SARW. He holds a PhD in International Relations (Political economy) at the University of the Witwatersrand (Thesis: Democratisation and the Political Economy of a Dysfunctional State: The Case of the Democratic Republic of Congo). Before joining SARW, he worked at the Human Sciences Research Council and the Electoral institute of Southern Africa as a Chief Research Manager and Research Manager respectively. He has also worked at the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Centre for Policy Studies as Policy Analyst. Dr. Kabemba’s main areas of research interest include: Political economy of Sub Saharan Africa with focus on Southern and Central Africa looking specifically on issues of democratization and governance, natural resources governance, election politics, citizen participation, conflicts, media, political parties, civil society and social policies. He has consulted for international organizations such Oxfam, UNHCR, The Norwegian People’s Aid, Electoral Commissions and the African Union. He has undertaken various evaluations related to the work of Electoral Commissions and civil society groups interventions in the electoral process in many African countries. He is regularly approached by both local and international media for comments on political and social issues on the continent. His publication record spans from books (as editor), book chapters, journal articles, monographs, research reports, and newspaper articles.