Chinese mining activities destroying Boterekwa escarpment

Mining activities along Boterekwa highway


SHURUGWI – Residents of Shurugwi have appealed to Government to intervene and stop dangerous mining activities in the Boterekwa escarpment that are destroying the highway and causing many fatal accidents.

The residents accused Chinese nationals and some locals of mining in the Boterekwa hills without due regard to the environment and the state of the highway.

Former Shurugwi Mayor, Bulle Madzitire said that the country was staring at an environmental disaster.

“The Chinese are looting daily and they have destroyed some of the mountains which were meant for tourist attraction. Where are we going as a country? Where are these minerals going and what is EMA doing because the environment has been destroyed?

“Our minerals are being looted yet we have water challenges, no sporting facilities and Peak Mine Stadium has collapsed,” said Madzitire.

The outcry followed a recent bus accident that resulted in the death of one woman. Residents said that the Emergence Road Rehabilitation Program (ERRP) should be used to rehabilitate the road which is in a bad state because of the illegal mining activities.
Midlands Police spokesperson Emmanuel Mahoko confirmed the recent accident in which Pardon Magoche was driving a Joma Bus with 42 passengers. When he reached the 40km peg, the bus rolled back and fell on its side. A woman who tried to jump out of the bus was trapped and died, 20 passengers sustained injuries and were ferried to Shurugwi District Hospital.

Midlands Mining Commissioner Tariro Ndlovu said miners in the Boterekwa area are issued with Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) certificates from EMA and their operations are guided by mining laws.
“Boterekwa is not a reserved place where people can complain about the mining activities carried there. There are so many mining claims which were pegged there just like what ZIMASCO was doing. All those mines in the Boterekwa area are legal and companies operating there are working within laws and regulations.

“There is EMA which is there to assess the activities and issue out Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) certificates. Residents should also not worry on what happen down stream since they claim that the miners use cyanide. The miners have been granted certificates after assessment,”said Ndlovu.

Efforts to get a comment from the Environment Management Agency (EMA) were futile.

— Masvingo Mirror

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