By Ishemunyoro Chingwere
The Zimbabwe Miners Federation, an umbrella board representing small- scale miners, has initiated the process to elect new leadership for the organisation beginning with a general council meeting to be held in Gweru next week.
The federation’s membership, which now accounts for more than half of the country’s gold deliveries as well as a substantial amount in chrome deliveries, had taken issues with the Ishmael Kaguru led executive that they argue was clinging onto power despite the expiry of term of office.
However, in an internal memo sent to all the federation’s affiliates and dated May 14, a copy of which this publication is in possession of, chief executive officer Mr Wellington Takavarasha, advised the membership that the current executive’s tenure of office has expired and invited the same to attend a General Council Meeting whose purpose is to vet associations that will vote.
The memo also advises that May 25 is the deadline by which all associations should pay their affiliation fees in order to participate in the elections.
“Notice is hereby given that the ZMF term of office expired as of April 26, 2018 . . . Upon the expiry of such (term of office) member shall automatically retire from office and shall be eligible for nomination and re-election as a member of the executive provided that he retains his qualification,” wrote Mr Takavarasha.
“The 25th of May is deadline for affiliations by associations. After reaching consensus on ZMF electorate participants, dates will be unanimously set for elections. Gweru (Midlands Province) will host elections and in accordance to the ZMF constitution,” wrote Mr Takavarasha.
ZMF was formed in 2003, essentially to help identify small scale and artisanal miners’ needs and is also tasked with carrying out programmes to redress them in accordance with the Mines and Minerals Act, Gold Trade Act and other laws governing mining in the country.
Over the years, the sector has registered rapid growth due to the synergies between ZMF and Government. Last year, it delivered 53 percent of the country’s total gold output of 24,8 tonnes.
The strong showing has continued this year and in the first quota the sector delivered a retain of 4,2 tonnes of gold to Fidelity Refineries and Printers.
Earlier in the month, its membership petitioned the Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando in his capacity as patron to immediately cause for elections to usher in a new leadership and replace the old executive.