Green Governance Zimbabwe Trust Newsletter Vol. 4/ May 2021

Constitutionalism, Devolution and Mining in Zimbabwe

Historically, extraction of minerals has always been a localized economic venture. Pre-colonial mining activities, were centralized to royalty- chieftain ships and clans, whose architecture was not as intricate as modern day governance systems. However, white settlers transformed mining from subsistence, communal and royalty ventures, into commercial large scale exploration activities through introduction of advanced technologies. With the transition from colonial rule back to black majority rule, governance systems and institutions installed by settlers were adopted with little amendments on fundamental fiscal and economic frameworks. All attention was pinned on securing political rights and freedoms, yet the legal framework, still benefited the black elite holders of land as before. Content with having political rights, black elites and conglomerates have continued to plunder the nation’s resources following the colonial settlers model.

Making Devolution Work for Communities in Resource Rich Areas

Successful implementation of devolution requires a shared framework, which is accountable to local livelihood needs and people’s rights to self-determination. Devolution alone without fiscal linkages, is not enough to spur local development. Without inclusive planning and modeling, Zimbabwe risks implementing a devolution process which facilitates continuation of substantive central government control and management over natural resources, instead of a genuine shift in authority to lower tiers.

Why tax justice matters in natural resource governance

Tax justice is a human rights issue. Any other summation, falls short of encapsulating tenets encompassing the importance of this major source of revenue for governments and its four primary roles. This notion emanates from an understanding that government fulfills its obligations through exploitation of tax in four distinct ways revenue raising, redistribution of wealth, representation and repricing harmful goods. Progressive or pro-poor tax regimes ideally fulfills these four roles and take a higher proportion of income tax from the wealthy to fund public services like health and education for the less privileged.

Read the full newsletter here(375KB PDF)

Source: Green Governance Trust

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