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Zimbabwe's Parliamentary Legal Committee Says Proposed Mine Fee Hike Illegal

  • Tatenda Gumbo

Zimbabwe mines ministry's decision to significantly hike mining fee licenses and applications may have been unconstitutional, a report by the parliamentary legal committee has revealed.

Officials said the hike imposed a heavy financial burden on local and foreign investors, arguing they give no room for rejected applications to get their money back.

The parliamentary legal committee reviews parliamentary bills and laws to determine if they do not infringe on the constitution.

In its report, the committee, also criticized Mines Minister Obert Mpofu for failing to consult all stakeholders before gazetting the regulations, concluding the "hefty fees have been imposed through a statutory instrument, with little, if not nil, input from ordinary Zimbabweans through their elected representatives."

Registration fees shot up more than 1,000 percent with diamond claims rising up to $5 million, and platinum claims to $2.5 million.

The mines ministry recently said it would review the proposed new fees after complaints from the industry.

Lawmaker Moses Mare, a member of the mines and energy portfolio committee, says the fees will not help Harare lure investment to the sector.

"The fees are really unconstitutional; I think Obert Mpofu is doing things without consulting the legal advisers of the government, this is why we are objecting the proposed fees," said Mare. "We are actually advising the ministry not to implement the new fees."

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