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Zimbabwe: Several villagers in Matabeleland province face evictions to pave way for mining

‘Hwange, Binga villagers face eviction’ 20 July 2020

Villagers in Hwange and Binga districts, Matabeleland North, face eviction from their ancestral homes to pave way for Chinese mining projects. The Chinese have had a footprint in Zimbabwe among other African countries, particularly in mining ventures. The mining operations have often caused discord among locals, with many alleging that they have been left with nothing to show save for environmental degradation.

In Matabeleland North, the situation is reportedly the same with villagers in Binga and Hwange now facing eviction to pave way for Chinese miners. Villagers alleged that the Chinese were working with the local traditional leadership, particularly chiefs to push for the eviction of their subjects and believe the chiefs could have been bribed though that could not be independently verified. In Hwange, a proposed Chinese mining project at Dinde dip tank has evoked so much anger that locals have even sought the help of Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda to stop attempts to evict them. Mudenda hails from the same province.

…A petition to Mudenda seeking his help shows that the Chinese miners were targeting several areas including Siadindi in Binga. In Hwange, they are reportedly targeting coal, tantalum, jade and quarry mining operations and were operating at Deka South, ZZCC Dick Area, Ngumija, Mpongola, Dinde cattle pen and dip tank, Kapami, Hwange industrial area, Nsongwa, Nyagara, Number One North and Simangani. “The communities of both Binga and Hwange districts have been caught unawares by the sudden influx of the Chinese with the support from the local chiefs in search and exploration of minerals without consultation as well as consideration of the devastating effects these minings (sic) will have and cause to the local environment, vegetation and to the health of the local residents,” the petition read.