The Zimbabwean government has been criticised for allowing Chinese companies to “invade and destroy” rural communities for mining with disregard to existing laws and community livelihood.
This followed after a video of a Chinese mining company went viral on social media for surface blasting near Mutoko rural homesteads. Livestock is seen running for cover and debris destroying some of the homes below the blast site which is at the top of a mountain.
The Chinese company at the site made headlines after the company pegged a whole village of 70 homesteads and told people to seek alternative land to occupy. No community consultation was ever done which is a breach of the communal lands act chapter [20:04]. A recent visit by the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development had Hon Polite Kambamura saying govt has taken note of the grievances.
It is not clear what the government intends to do next.
In the background of the video, a voice of a young boy is heard shouting that the kitchen of his grandmother had been destroyed by the blast.
“Kitchen yaGogo yapwanyiwa (my grandmother’s kitchen has been destroyed),” says the young boy speaking in the background in Mutoko.
Commenting on the blast, journalist Hopewell Chin’ono stated that the government is to blame for allowing the Chinese to practice mining while destroying communities.
“This is what gvt has allowed the Chinese to do in Zimbabwe, to cause environmental degradation whilst driving out black locals from their ancestral land,” said Hopewell.
Adding on, the Centre for Research and Development Zimbabwe (CRDZIM) commented that the government is reluctantly not doing anything about amending the mines and minerals bills since 2018.
“President Mnangagwa’s government has been sitting on the mines and minerals bill since 2018. The reasons are becoming clearer for everyone to see. Sad,” commented CRDZimbabwe.