Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) has petitioned the Parliament of Zimbabwe to implore the Executive to uphold the Constitution by ensuring mining sector investments are in compliance with the provisions of the Constitution and International Obligations and Standards.
The organisation says it is concerned by the rate of irresponsible investment within the mining sector and prevalence of human rights violations by mining corporations in Zimbabwe.
“Your petitioners believe, policies must be suitably tailored to promote intra and intergenerational equity in the mining sector,” the petition reads.
“Without the necessary legal basis, local communities in Zimbabwe will continue to suffer at the hands of mining corporations.”
The petition that is addressed to the Parliament Portfolio Committee of Zimbabwe appeals the Government to uphold the principles of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and
Human Rights which has provisions that in order to promote responsible investments, States have the duty to protect everyone within their territory from human rights abuses committed by business enterprises.
ZELA also appeals the government to uphold the provisions of section 73 of the Constitution which provides for the right to an environment that is not harmful to health and wellbeing and have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations.
The organisation encourages the recognition and respect of the principles of good governance like
transparency, justice, accountability and responsiveness as provided for in terms of section 3(2)(g) of the Constitution.
The petition also urges the government to Protect communities against human rights abuses by all actors in society, including private businesses and State-Owned Enterprises. This means States must prevent, investigate, punish and redress human rights abuses occasioned by investments in the mining sector.
“All members of the Executive took the oath, and swore to uphold the Constitution,” ZELA says
“The petitioners implore them to reflect this spirit in respect of investments within the
mining sector. The Constitution also enjoins Parliament to uphold it.”