BY FIDELITY MHLANGA GOVERNMENT has commended Togabless Mining Investments for its efforts to uplift women by facilitating them to venture into mining. This comes after the company helped 36 women split into six groups to attain gold claims free of charge. Officiating at the handover ceremony yesterday in Marondera, Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs minister Apolonia Munzverengi said Togabless had done a commendable job to empower women in a male dominated industry. “Togabless has exhibited the desire to encourage gender balance and diversity by promoting initiatives for marginalised groups throughout Zimbabwe,” the minister said. “They have empowered women in recognising the need for inclusivity with mining.” Munzverengi said Zimbabwe’s artisanal and small-scale miners were a major source of hope for millions of rural entrepreneurs worldwide and yet, it also poses challenges for local governments in terms of regulation and capturing resource tax revenue to fund national development. She urged beneficiaries to do professional mining and deliver gold to Fidelity Printers and Refinery. Speaking at the same event, Women Affairs ministry officer Tendai Nyamadzawo said: “This programme is at the centre of ministry’s heart and this will compliment government efforts. I want to reiterate that mining industry is not easy. The biggest impediment is to get mining claim. The money required for pegging cannot be easily accessed by women.” He said while cultural belief and myths impeded women from venturing into mining, the ministry was mandated to create economic opportunities that empower women and Togabless had come with a programme to bridge the gap for woman to attain mining claims. Fatima Miti, Togabless board member, said the company was seeding mining claims to woman syndicates. “The banking sector must accept or recognise our claim certificates to capitalise the mines,” Miti said. Women will be trained in blasting and the company has lined up five investors to help them with machinery. Togabless is wholly owned Zimbabwean company.