Tuesday, 18 August 2020

CHIEF SNUBS VILLAGERS AS MINING FIRM INVADES THEIR LAND


More than 10 villagers in Mathe under Chief Bvute in Mberengwa are in a quandary after a mining company invaded their plots last week and started mounting headgear shafts without giving them any notice.

The Mirror established that the involved mining company is called Can One Enterprise. What shocked villagers who spoke to The Mirror is that the mining company installed its equipment in private plots without any notice or alerting the owners, said the villagers.

The villagers went from one Government office to another and from one traditional leader to another in a bid to establish what was exactly happening but to no avail. The villagers wanted to know their fate in the face of the development but to no avail.

They complained to The Mirror that their rights were being trampled upon by the mining company since they were entitled to know what was happening to their fields. They also said that there was the question of compensation if the mine has legitimate papers to operate in the area.

Chief Bvute reacted angrily when The Mirror called him for a comment. He said that the reporter had no authority to ask him questions on projects happening in his land. He said he once worked in the President’s office and would only talk to newspapers that belong to Zanu PF.

“I am the chief, I worked in the Office of the President, who gave you the authority to question me?” asked the chief.

Headman Luis Dube said he was shocked by the behavior of the mining company as he is also not being told of the developments. “I am surprised by this approach.

A mining company just came and started installing its equipment without saying a word to the affected people; this is unfair. We want the lands office to come and deal with the issue,” said Dube.

A man only identified as Chauke, a director of Can One Enterprise said the area that his company was going to mine was a bush and it did not belong to anyone. He accused some villagers of not being grateful for the company’s work in the area including building schools.

He said his company built Kushinga Secondary School. Some of the villagers whose fields are affected by the mine are Sophie Matutu, Patrick Mavedzenge, Japhet Bhidi, Daniel Mugwagwa,

Raynos Ndlovu and Chirino Vheke. Efforts to get a comment from Mberengwa District Lands Officer were futile.

The villagers said all Government offices approached for assistance made one excuse after another. “At first they said they had no car, we organised one and they said that their team was not ready and now they are saying they cannot come because of Covid-19. I just want these miners out of my field,” said Chirino Vheke.

“These villagers are not grateful, we gave them water, we built Kushinga Secondary School and we have generally developed the area. We are mining in a bush; there are no stands or fields. We bought the mine from Andrew Notty in 2009 but it was pegged in 1987 so what they are saying is invalid, the mine started before their lands, stands or whatever,” said Chauke. Masvingo Mirror

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