29 May 2020

The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) is a premier public interest environmental law organisation which seeks to promote environmental justice, sustainable and equitable use of natural resources, democracy and good governance in the natural resources and environment sector. ZELA’s work is mainly anchored on a core group of rights which are reflective of natural resources governance namely; Environmental, Economic, Social and Cultural (EESC) rights. As such a large component of the organisation's work involves influencing implementation and reforms within legal and institutional frameworks governing the environment and natural resources sector through research, civic education and advocacy.

As an organisation we believe that having adequate laws in place and monitoring implementation are the first steps towards good governance of natural resources and the environment. For the past 20 years, we have managed to make notable contributions to the legal, policy and institutional frameworks governing the environment and natural resources sector for broad based sustainable environmental and socio-economic development through our work in Zimbabwe and beyond.

Through this newsletter, we get to share with you relevant updates as we drive our mission of promoting environmental justice through sustainable and equitable utilization of natural resources and environmental protection.

  Zimbabwe's mineral revenue should fund children & youth needs 

WE, the 43 youths drawn from mining host communities that include Chimanimani, Marange and Zvishavane, environmental law society students drawn from Midlands State University, Great Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University, development partners working on research, children and youth issues that include Shamwari Yemwanasikana, Research Advocacy Unit, Africa Institute for Environmental Law convened for the Zoom Webinar on the 27th of May 2020. The virtual workshop was organised by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association with support from Terre des Hommes and ran under the theme, ‘Making Extractives work for public environmental, health and sanitary services.’

Convening during such a difficult moment of our lives when the COVID-19 pandemic is causing havoc and disruptions throughout the globe. The pandemic has brought to the fore the importance of public environmental, health and sanitary services. Major health organizations advise washing hands more frequently to prevent the spread of coronavirus yet 40% of the world’s population, lack access to basic hand-washing facilities in their homes.

It has become more apparent that as the COVID-19 crisis spreads throughout the world, communities with the least access to essential services like clean water and sanitary services will feel the most dramatic effects. Children and young people from these vulnerable communities are particularly exposed. In the health sector, COVID-19 has the potential to overwhelm fragile public health systems and undermine some of the strides made in child survival, health, nutrition and development over the last several decades.........Click here for more information. 

 We are all equal,but some are more equal than others:Community perspectives on CAMPFIRE

While wildlife is regarded as a local resource which should, according to the Constitution benefit locally communities equally, the classification of wards as CAMPFIRE and non-CAMPFIRE wards seems to be a source of division within the community. Qualitative data obtained through community consultations indicate community tensions pitting CAMPFIRE and non-CAMPFIRE wards relating to the district development process. Non-CAMPFIRE wards allege that there is skewed development in favour of CAMPFIRE wards which contribute towards the Rural District Council revenue streams. Rather than fostering community cohesion, the designation of some wards as CAMPFIRE wards at the exclusion of other wards has brought a feeling that while in theory all wards are equal, in practice some wards are more equal than others..................Click here for more information. 

 COVID-19:Effective public finance management critical

ZIMBABWE has a history of misuse of public funds and resources, including those meant to assist vulnerable people hit by disasters.According to Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association Executive Director,Mutuso Dhliwayo people in resource-rich communities have not received support from resources mobilised for COVID-19.

“So, if you analyse government response using principles of reliability, responsiveness, transparency and openness, you will see that government is failing to provide these resources to cushion vulnerable people in times of need.

There is a leaked document published by Africa Confidential which says our government was begging for funds. But why is government failing to support communities with natural resources during disasters? What we are seeing is that these disasters are now regular and we should be prepared for them,” Dhliwayo said...........Click here for more information.

 No to looting of COVID-19 resources-Transparency matters

The government of Zimbabwe demonstrated a positive transparency gesture by publishing the COVID-19 donations in the Sunday Mail newspaper dated May 3, 2020. This is a very good initiative necessary for the Government to gain citizens trust in handling public funds in a transparent and accountable manner. In times of crisis and emergencies there is usually weak accountability mechanisms especially when donations are involved.The government must consider cascading the transparency initiative to the revenue that is being generated from the mining sector, the greatest contributor to the national fiscus..........Click here for more information.

Three  ways extractives transparency can help countries tackle the triple crisis

For resource-rich countries, the COVID-19 pandemic is posing a triple crisis. First, it is placing a huge strain on public health systems as countries struggle to cope with the growing spread of the virus across the world. Second, the oil price crash is making oil production significantly less profitable with a massive fall in investment and exploration. Third, the slowdown in the global economy is reducing demand for oil, gas and minerals with resultant price fluctuations. All these factors are having a major effect on public finance, with revenues declining rapidly while demands on public expenditure increase sharply............Click here for more information.


 Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public 
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following: Click here for more information.

Conversations that matter 


Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA)
@mukasiri :Zimbabwe is endowed with vast mineral resources. Some of the mineral assets are world class but we must'nt forget that minerals are finite resources.Therefore, the opportunity to leverage minerals for broad based socio-economic development must not be missed. #Extractives

@tafara_chiremba :Zim Constitution specifically  Section 13 on National development states that (1)The State & all institutions & agencies of government at every level must endeavor to facilitate rapid & equitable development.

@shonefarayi:There is a connection between mortgaging of natural resources & provision of public services. We have heard a lot about resource backed loans & this is unsustainable. Speak of mortgaging the future #MiningDevelopment #webinar #Children&Youths voices matter.

Upcoming Events  

Resignation of Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) board: What’s going on, the implications, past lessons and moving forward
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