We, the 149 delegates simultaneously convening in Bulawayo (in respect of COVID-19 restrictions) from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October 2020 for the 9th Zimbabwe Alternative Mining Indaba (ZAMI) drawn from the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe comprising of representatives from Government, civil society organisations, community members, faith-based organizations (FBOs), traditional leaders; local government leaders, trade unions, media, academia and researchers under the theme “Towards an Inclusive and equitable US$12 billion mining industry anchored on sustainable mineral resource management” deliberated on responsible mining, public finance management, climate change, youth and citizen participation, mining policy review, gender and extractives. This year’s ZAMI came at a time when we are faced with the global COVID-19 pandemic which has affected the economy and the livelihoods of thousands, not just in Zimbabwe but across nations.
Whilst it appears as business as usual for large scale mining companies, communities are wallowing in abject poverty and social and economic deprivation. This is quite evident in mining host communities which are not deriving any meaningful benefits from the resources extracted in their localities. Instead of realizing social and economic justice from mining activities in their areas, the communities are left with ecological debt, entrenched poverty and inequalities in various forms; The 9th edition of ZAMI came against the backdrop of the implementing partners having mapped an Advocacy Strategy for the Extractive Sector, wherein community participation is placed at the centre of mineral resource governance. The 2020 ZAMI was informed by key issues and demands which came out of the District Alternative Mining Indabas (DAMIs) and Provincial Alternative Mining Indabas (PAMIs).