BULAWAYO, Thursday, November 28, 1991 —The effects of the degradation of the Umzingwane and Gwabalozwi rivers near How Mine, caused by slate diggers, have begun to show following the onset of the rains.
When The Chronicle visited the area, gullies created by the slate diggers along the river were filled with water, disturbing the flow of water. Debris piled on the river bed by the slate diggers had been pushed downstream, blocking the water.
A place which is usually busy with the slate diggers working at the various points along the two river banks was rather quiet. Only two employees of Cde Washington Zulu, who rents the place from the Government, were grading slate they had dug earlier.
The other diggers, who are said to be operating on the Tuli Outspan Umzingwane Ranch from the neighbouring area of Hope Fountain, were nowhere to be seen. The holes they dug on the river bed were full of water.
Damage to the vegetation is quite extensive because the slate diggers throw debris all over the place.
Cde Zulu, who has been working on the farm since 1972, blames the destruction of the river on the increase in the number of people who are working along the river banks without prospecting licences.
He has reported the matter to the police and talked to the slate diggers whom he says have turned a deaf ear.
Efforts to obtain comment from the provincial mining commissioner, Cde Felix Muchapondwe, were unsuccessful.