BY KENNETH NYANGANI /OBERT SIAMILANDU
Makoni North legislator James Munetsi (Zanu PF) has urged the police to clamp down on illegal gold miners who are reportedly causing mayhem in his constituency.
Munetsi told NewsDay on Sunday that illegal mining activities had gone out of hand and fuelling criminality in his area.
“People are mining all over and everywhere from Govakova area, Maondera village, Mwarazi area, and even Shumba Mountain. I can’t name all the areas now, but what I can tell you is that the situation has gone out of hand,” Munetsi said.
“I have reported the matter to the relevant authorities and to Makoni Rural District Council, but no one has come to address the situation, or even come and see what is happening. We reported the issues of illegal gold mining to the police,” he added.
Munetsi said the illegal gold mining activities were causing serious land degradation.
“The crime rate has increased everyday, I receive news of stocktheft. It is because of these illegal gold miners who also need food to eat. As a result, they end up stealing from villagers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda has called for urgent finalisation of the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill, saying it has been a stumbling block towards the achievement of the full potential of the mining sector.
Mudenda said this last Thursday while addressing a state of the mining industry workshop in Kariba.
“The incessant delays in finalising key mining legislation have become a stumbling block to the realisation of Zimbabwe’s full mining potential. Absence of a strong mining sector legal framework is contributing to uncertainty and negating efforts to attract both foreign and domestic investment in the sector,” Mudenda said.
He said no serious investor would venture into a sector that had a nebulous legal framework which does not address issues of tenure, and illegal mining activities.
“Zimbabwe has remained stuck with a colonial piece of legislation of 1963, which is in disharmony with other laws such as the Environmental Management Act, which call for the sustainable utilisation of natural resources,” Mudenda said.
- Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe