Farirai Machivenyika, Harare Bureau
President Mnangagwa has directed that a Chinese company carrying out quarrying activities in Domboshava in Mashonaland East should stop operating after he was briefed by the leadership there that its operations were threatening the existence of sacred caves in the area.
The mining operations were reportedly going to result in the eviction of 20 000 villagers.
Addressing hundreds of Domboshava residents at Showgrounds yesterday during this month’s clean-up campaign, President Mnangagwa said the operations would be stopped.
“I have heard that there is a Chinese company that is mining at Pagarimo Hill and is now encroaching into areas where there are sacred caves.
“I have heard your concerns and we will stop the destruction that is going on because these areas are sacred to us,” President Mnangagwa said.
The company, Aihua Jianye sought to mine quarry near Mverechena Shopping Centre and this would have seen people within a five-kilometre radius being removed to create space for the project.
Concerns were also raised regarding how the company got permission to mine without an Environment Impact Assessment certificate.
Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa also said Domboshava would also be allocated more Zupco buses to service the area when the next batch arrives next week.
“We have secured buses, some are coming from Belarus, China and South Africa and those that are coming in at the moment are from South Africa.
“Next week will be launching a fleet of other buses that have arrived in the country and while our focus has been on urban areas we will ensure that from the fleet that we will launch, some will service rural routes including here,” President Mnangagwa said.
He also called on the local authority in the area to ensure that there are planned settlements that would make it easy to provide services like water and sewer reticulation.
“I understand the area is supposed to have 20 000 residents but now has more than 80 000. This means the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing should look into the issue so that essential services like police stations, clinics and hospitals and Government administrative offices are in place,” he said.