MINES minister Winston Chitando yesterday said small-scale gold miners are key to the country achieving a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023.
Addressing the small-scale miners at the launch of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF)-FS vehicle loan scheme in Harare, Chitando said the miners were contributing positively to the achievement of the ambitious target.
“Without an efficient ZMF, then there won’t be efficient coordination of a sector which is not only contributing significantly, but is poised to continue contributing, not only to the US$12 billion mining vision, but beyond that because we will come up with another milestone beyond the US$12 billion milestone,” the minister said.
“It is very important to have order and to have focus…for any economic goal to be achieved. ZMF is efficiently coordinating artisanal and small-scale miners, I am very proud as a patron.”
On her part, ZMF president Henrietta Rushwaya said through the launch of the vehicle loan scheme, miners would pay half price of the car and they will settle down the balance after three and six months depending on the value of the vehicle.
“Our terms are quite friendly, especially to our members, where we are saying if you pay half of the total amount of the car as part of your deposit; the remainder will be paid in three months or six months, depending on the value of the car.
“We are saying to our small- scale miners, this scheme is meant to enhance their production in such a way that instead of them waiting for someone to provide spares, they can always rely on these cars which they will have purchased,” Rushwaya said.
She said 40 cars under the scheme were already in Harare, 120 at Beitbridge Border Post awaiting clearance by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and they anticipated to purchase 500 more cars later this year.
One of the miners, Chipo Chinozha from Mashonaland Central Province said ZMF has lessened their burden of waiting long hours for transport to carry out their errands.
“We are happy, this will improve our mobility as we go about our daily routines. I am willing to purchase one of the Hilux cars because my area of operation is very mountainous hence the need for high wheels,” Chinozha said. By Rutendo Ngara