Zimbabwe’s Mines and Mining Development Minister Absolve Coal Mining Firms from the Twenty-One Day National Lockdown
By Abdul Rahman Bangura –
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS ( NABN ) Freetown, Sierra Leonne- Zimbabwe Coal mining companies are exempted from the 21-day Covid-19 national lock-down which starts today, since their operations relate to generation of electricity.
In a proclamation, Winston Chitando – Mines and Mining Development validated the deadest development.
“Reference is made to the announcement of the national lockdown by President Mnangagwa and the following Statutory Instrument 83 of 2020 (Public Health (COVID-19) Prevention Containment and Treatment) (National Lock-down) order 2020,” he cited.
Coal mining companies are free in terms of section 2(c) and 4(1) (i) since their functions connect to the production of electricity.
“Notwithstanding the exemption, the companies are compelled to observe the fundamental tenets of the above order in fighting the COVID -19 pandemic.”
In enforcing the national lockdown for the rest of the mining industry, Minister Chitando stated, the ministry in consultation with industry, had noted a number of industry-specific challenges for the sector.
He announced these and other challenges were already recognized by the President’s statement, which emphasized the need to keep certain critical equipment and services in operation.
“It further recognizes the need for essential services to continue operating during the national lockdown.”
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development in consultation with other stakeholders has developed a framework, which recognizes some of the challenges in industry.
“The ministry in consultation with the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Miners Federation has developed a framework through which the mining industry, taking into account applications for specific exemptions, will implement the national lockdown.
“The framework recognizes the said challenges and is meant to give immediate temporary relief, while Government is considering applications from the respective mining companies.”
Mining operations, which face implementation challenges, are requested to apply for partial exemption to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development through the Chamber of Mines and Zimbabwe Miners Federation.
“The applications should indicate clearly the nature and modes of operation during the lockdown period and the measures which will be taken to safeguard employees and other stakeholders from the potential spread of the COVID -19 virus,” declared Minister Chitando.
“Once the application is lodged with the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe Miners Federation, the mining company in question may be allowed to continue operating pending a response from Government.”
The minister advised all mining companies seeking an exemption to contact the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Miners Federation for further guidance.
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