Wednesday, 6 March 2019


THE Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has ordered an Umguza-based Chinese brickmaking company to stop operations pending processing of its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificate.

Homestead Clay, also known as Zimbabwe and China Biocheng Brick Company, has been mining clay along the Harare Road in the Umguza District without an EIA certificate, thereby violating the country’s laws.

EIA is a process of evaluating the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project or development, taking into account inter-related socio-economic, cultural and human-health impacts, both beneficial and adverse.

EMA Matabeleland North provincial manager Chipo Mpofu-Zuze revealed that the company’s EIA certification papers were yet to be approved.

“The correct name which they submitted for an EIA is Homestead Clay. It could be having another name, but the documents they submitted to us indicate that they are called Homestead Clay,” Mpofu-Zuze said.

“They did prospectus and were told to do the full EIA. They did it and submitted it for processing. We are now processing it. Our team went there today (yesterday) and they have ordered them to stop operations,” she said.

Mpofu-Zuze said EMA was having challenges with companies that start operations without an EIA certificate.

“The challenge that we have is that people think that if they do that book (EIA) even before its approved they can start operations. This is what they (Chinese company) did, but they have been told to stop until their EIA certificate has been approved, if it’s going to be approved,” she said.

Southern Eye last week visited the site and was told that all documents including the EIA certificate were there.

Company official Takavada Mbondiah yesterday insisted that they had the EIA certificate, dismissing EMA’s claims that it halted the operations.
“We have all the papers and have never been stopped from operating. In fact, we are not yet operating, we are building accommodation for the workers. We are still waiting for machinery to arrive from China, hopefully by end of this month it would have arrived,” he said.

Mbondiah claimed that they got their EIA certificate two weeks ago. Newsday


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