HWANGE (Mining Index) – FOLLOWING two years of resistance from the Dinde community, Bei Fa Investments, a company owned by Chinese nationals allegedly involving some powerful Zimbabwean politicians, moved in to pitch a tent at the heart of the community over its intention to explore for coal in the area.
By Business Reporter – Monday 19 April 2021
Police were quickly deployed to the village to protect the tent.
The Dinde land dispossession has seen the Hwange community in a stand-off with the Chinese nationals over the proposed coal project which they want to be stopped as they say it infringes on their land and environmental rights.
On Wednesday 14 April 2021, about 60 Dinde villagers besieged the site Bei Fa Investments had pitched a tent as part of the process to kick start exploration works. They were demanding that the Chinese remove their tent and leave their village.
This row follows the arrest and detention of Never Tshuma, Dinde Development Association chairperson for leading the community to resist the coal project by Chinese nationals in his Katambe village in Hwange Rural.
Tshuma was arrested and detained on Thursday 15 April 2021 at Hwange Police Station.
He was released on 17 April on ZW$10 000 bail.
He is accused of inciting villagers to resist exploration for coal.
Tshuma was among scores of Dinde community members who confronted BeiFa Investments at Katambe village disapproving commencement of coal exploration.
Community members welcomed the release of Tshuma and vowed to defend their land rights and also resist the coal project which they believe is contradicting the government vision of a green economy by 2030.
Bei Fa Investments started coal exploration in the community on 17 April 2021.
“We strongly denounce this disregard for the collective will of the people of Dinde. The investment is criminal in as far is it does not have a social licence from the community. Also coal has been singled out as the biggest contribution to climate change. President Mnangagwa has announced that his government targets a 100% green economy by 2030,”
“Further, 99.99% of Zimbabweans believe mining is undermining national development due to the criminal nature of the industry in Zimbabwe. Organized criminal gangs with political power and connections are robbing the nation of its wealth and dispossessing citizens of their land for self-enrichment. It is safe to keep our natural resources in the ground until the country has found patriotic leaders who invest natural resources in the people of Zimbabwe. Stop dispossessing Zimbabweans of their land!” said Centre for Natural Resource and Governance (CNRG) director Farai Maguwu.
The community argues that mining will pollute the Nyantuwe River which is the only source of drinking water for humans and livestock. They also argue that the project threatens the cattle selling pen, a deep tank and the community cemetery.
Dinde community contend that although they never consented to the project, they were shocked to see documents purporting the community had consented.
Earlier this month, the community petitioned the Parliament of Zimbabwe to investigate the legitimacy of the Environmental Impact Assessment report submitted to the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) by Geovannah Consultancy on behalf of BeiFa Investments. ENDS// www.miningindex.co.zw
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