By Tendai Marufu
LOBBY group, Economic Justice Women’s Project (EJWP) has expressed doubts on the country’s prospects of attaining an ambitious US$12 billion mining target by 2023.
Speaking to Zimstar News Sunday, the NGO’s executive director, Margaret Mutsamvi cited lack of deliberate strategy to target vulnerable groups like young women as well as the absence of a solid plan to deal with Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs).
EJWP’s recently published paper titled: “The Nexus between Illicit Financial Flows in the Extractive Sector in Zimbabwe and Young Women”.
Mutsamvi said it will be difficult if not impossible for the mining vision to deliver tangible benefits.
“Our key findings are that the possibility of achieving this seems a mammoth task if rampant IFFs within the mining sector are not checked. Unprecedented Covid-19 induced pressing demands for public healthcare, social service delivery and social protection for profound policy changes in natural resources governance so that Zimbabwe curbs IFFs, build back better leaving no one behind,” she said.
Mutsamvi said such a people centered approach is hinged on addressing systematic vulnerabilities that see vulnerable groups like young women in Zimbabwe bear the brunt of glaring inequality in social protection, collapse of the health systems.
She said the loss of jobs and food insecurities and burden of unpaid care work, rising levels of gender-based violence and increased maternal mortality during this pandemic also have to be factored in.
“Yet young women’s voices are not valorised, and they are silenced. Their ability to speak out and contribute to the decision-making process, choices made in the extractives sector is not acknowledged,” added Mutsamvi.