Saturday, 11 December 2021

MINERS WILL NOT DISPLACE YOU : ED TELLS UZUMBA VILLAGERS


THE Government will not allow mining companies to displace communities from their ancestral lands and those communities should have the final say on the operations of mineral extraction companies on their land, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.

Addressing thousands of Zanu-PF supporters during a rally at Chidodo Primary School in Uzumba after attending the memorial service of the late former Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services Commissioner-General, Major- General (Retired) Paradzai Zimondi, President Mnangagwa said foreign investors were welcome in Zimbabwe, but they should respect the country’s laws and customs.

“We do not want people who come to do mining in an area and disrupt people’s ways of lives,” said the President.

“Communities come first and that should be respected. No mining should happen unless the people and their community leadership agree.

“If the community says a project cannot go on, that should be final. I heard that there were people who wanted to do mining on school premises. That is unacceptable.

“I told the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution (for Mashonaland East, Apollonia Munzverengwi), that all those who try and impose their projects on communities should be reported.”

He said foreign investment is welcome in Zimbabwe, but the country should set the rules of engagement.

A foreign miner was recently stopped from operating in Uzumba after pegging a claim on a piece of land housing close to 70 homesteads.

Turning to the late Major-General Zimondi, President Mnangagwa said the national hero was an astute agent of rural development.

He said in order to fulfill his vision, Government is implementing rural industrialisation projects countrywide.

“In Mutoko, they produce a lot of horticulture but they used to travel to Harare incurring high transport costs and sometimes being subjected to unfair prices at Mbare and other major markets.

“So, we decided to open a tomato processing factory; those with tomatoes are now selling to the factory which in turn value adds,” said President Mnangagwa.

He said the same development model was being replicated in Mwenezi, Masvingo Province where he recently commissioned a marula processing plant.

“We want to make sure that every district has its own factory which processes natural resources that are abundant in that respective area.

“For instance, we have plans to set up a facility which processes masawu into marketable products in Mount Darwin.

“No one should be left behind,” the President added.

President Mnangagwa said over the next four years, Government will drill over 35 000 boreholes in every village countrywide under a programme meant to boost horticulture production.

“The boreholes we are referring to are not rudimentary labour intensive boreholes, but solar powered boreholes.

“Each community will have its own horticulture project which will generate revenue for communities.”

He described the late Major-General Zimondi as a compassionate and fair leader who wanted the best out of everyone.

“When Zimondi notified me that he was retiring, I told him that he should rest for a few months only as I had another assignment for him. Unfortunately, he died before I could give him that assignment,” said President Mnangagwa.

The President was accompanied by Vice-President and Health and Child Care Minister Dr Constantino Chiwenga, Zanu-PF Second Secretary Cde Kembo Mohadi, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona and several other senior Government officials.

Government has been honouring national heroes who died from Covid-19 related complications and had to be buried under stringent conditions.

Last weekend, President Mnangagwa was in Mberengwa for late Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo’s memorial.

Major-General Zimondi, whose Chimurenga name was Cde Tonderai Nyika, succumbed to complications related to Covid-19 and was buried at the National Heroes Acre on the same day as former Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo and ex-Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Biggie Matiza in an historic triple burial at the national shrine. Sunday Mail

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