Il­le­gal min­ers wreck Mashava sub­urb

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Wal­ter Mswazie

IL­LE­GAL pan­ning for both gold and chrome at the now de­funct Mashava’s King Mine in Mambo sub­urb is threat­en­ing houses.

Res­i­dents said un­less the un­con­trolled dig­ging is stopped im­me­di­ately, some houses could col­lapse.

They said about 100 il­le­gal min­ers have de­scended on the mine af­ter the dis­cov­ery of gold and chrome de­posits.

Pan­ners from as far as Shu­rugwi are among the for­tune seek­ers that have in­vaded the sub­urb.

The res­i­dents ap­pealed to the po­lice to stop the il­le­gal min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties that are threat­en­ing their houses.

Ms Chipo Mun­janja said many houses had de­vel­oped cracks be­cause of the dig­ging go­ing on un­der­neath the houses.

“We fear that our houses can col­lapse any­time un­less this dig­ging is stopped. What is sur­pris­ing is that the po­lice are aware of these il­le­gal min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties but are not tak­ing ac­tion,” said Ms Mun­janja.

Many of the pan­ners said they were em­ployed by syn­di­cates.

Chamunorwa Moyo of Zvisha­vane said they were work­ing for a Gweru busi­ness­man only iden­ti­fied as Mr Takunda.

“At first we used to come here as il­le­gal min­ers pan­ning for gold and chrome but now we are work­ing un­der Mr Takunda from Gweru. He was is­sued with a li­cence to mine chrome here although we some­times find gold de­posits,” said Moyo.

The man iden­ti­fied as man­ager of op­er­a­tions, Mr Vin­cent Muchemwa, could not be reached for com­ment.

Another pan­ner who de­clined to be named said as long as there was gold, they would dig any place whther or not this threat­ened houses.

Con­tacted for com­ment Masvingo pro­vin­cial En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Agency (EMA) man­ager Mr Rob­son Mavondo con­firmed the il­le­gal min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties which he said were a threat to the en­vi­ron­ment.

He said the agency had failed to stop the il­le­gal min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

Ef­forts to get a com­ment from Mines and Min­ing De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Cde Wal­ter Chid­hakwa were fruit­less as he was not reach­able on his mo­bile phone.

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