The Chron­i­cle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

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.

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