Illegal miners wreck Mashava suburb
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.