|(Photo: The Sunday News, Zimbabwe)|
A WOMEN'S mining organisation, United Women Miners Association (UWMA), has secured more than 90 gold mining claims in Matabeleland South through standard tributes agreements.Seven hundred of its members were already benefiting, an official said.
In an interview in Bulawayo last week, UWMA president Mrs Mthandazo Muhau, said the acquired mining claims were set to transform the livelihood of the members.
"We have managed to get 54 claims through standard tributes in Matabeleland South and there are about 400 women benefiting," said Mrs Muhau. She said that another 300 women were also successfully running a small scale mining business after getting 38 claims in the area.
"We have also secured 38 claims in Umzingwane, Matabeleland South and there are about 300 women benefiting through this project," she said. Standard tributes agreements are when someone with excess and dormant claims leases to another person at an agreed fee. Mrs Muhau said they were determined to empower previously marginalised women from the region through acquiring more mining claims for them.
"Our main objective is to empower women who are underprivileged. We also want women from this project to raise capital and secure their own claims and to be well equipped technically. Those who were once illegal miners, we have incorporated them there and even those who are new miners are joining us," said Mrs Muhau. She also said they were already using the proceeds from the mining projects to buy machinery.
"So far we have managed to buy a compressor for the miners to use and also managed to bank some of the monies from the business venture," said Mrs Muhau. The UWMA president said in line with the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset), they were geared to contribute to the revival of the economy.
"In line with the Zim Asset we are trying to ensure that we mine legally and contribute towards the economy of the country. The association is trying to ensure that women get basic training on mining," said the official. The association was formed in January this year and has 900 members.