The government has poo-pooed concerns raised by the Dinde community over a coal-mining project in the area by a Chinese-owned company, Beifa Investments (Pvt) Ltd.
The coal mining project has caused uproar in Dinde, Hwange District, Matabeleland North province, with villagers fearing eviction from their ancestral lands.
ZANU PF Dinde area chairperson Never Tshuma was arrested over a week ago on charges of inciting public violence after leading villagers in a protest against the coal mining venture by Beifa Investments.
Tshuma, who is also the Dinde Residents Association (DRA) deputy chairperson, was released on $10 000 bail.
Speaking to Southern Eye over the weekend, Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Richard Moyo warned the villagers that the government would not tolerate attempts to disrupt the coal mining project. He said:
We promised people jobs and we will not tolerate any behaviour from individuals even from our party, and others who want to play politics with this investment.
That Chinese company has its papers in order; they have shown that they have the capacity and also want to build a coal-fired plant to feed into the national grid to ease electricity challenges.
As such, I have instructed police to protect the investor and arrest those ones who want to cause chaos with the intent to sabotage the project.