GURUVE — The Tengenenge community in Guruve is at loggerheads with a Chinese mining company, San He Mining Zimbabwe, which it accuses of carrying out mining operations in their fields without consulting them.
REPORT BY OUR CORRESPONDENTS
The company, which is mining chrome in the area, is also accused of causing environmental degradation, as its operations are leaving gullies that are dangerous to humans and livestock.
Villagers who spoke to The Standard, said the company had vowed to carry on with their chrome mining despite complaints from the community.
The villagers said the Chinese were boasting of how they would continue mining because they had the support of unnamed senior politicians.
“Things are really bad and we don’t know where we might end up at tomorrow. The Chinese came and started operating in this area without consulting us,” said one villager, Loyd Bako.
“They have invaded our territories. Our fields have been taken and the entire landscape is now an eyesore.”
Another villager, Patience Zamba, said she feared the whole community would be displaced by the mining company.
“They told us that they can take us to a place that has already been mined, but for now, we are ready for anything,” she said.
The villagers said the company was also polluting water sources that the community used for drinking and watering their gardens.
“They are polluting our water, making it difficult for us and our animals. We told them to drill boreholes for us, but they refused,” said Zamba.
San He mining Zimbabwe official dispels conflict claims
However, a senior official with San He Mining Zimbabwe, Anling Zhang, downplayed the problem, insisting that the company was in good books with the community.
“We are not in conflict with them,” she said.
“We are waiting for our re-opening because for now we are not doing any business. the export of chrome has been banned, so we have nothing to do.”
But Environmental Management Agency provincial manager for Mashonaland Central, Robert Rwafa, confirmed the conflict between the villagers and the mining company.
“We have been told of that conflict but what we want is unity between the company and people so that we protect the environment. we are currently making a database that will incorporate the issue,” he said.