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Govt Ministers Perform Rituals To Welcome Chinese Miners

Two Government Ministers were last week part of a delegation at a ritual ceremony to appease ancestral spirits and welcome a Chinese company that is establishing a US$1 billion iron ore mine in Chirumhanzi, Midlands Province.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando and Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Larry Mavima were at the homestead of acting Chief Chirumanzu born Fidelis Mudzengi for the rituals.

The 4 000 hectare Manhize Escarpment where Tsingshan Holdings is establishing the mine is at the boundaries of Mashonaland East, Midlands and Mashonaland West provinces and is also known to be rich in gold.

Traditional beer was brewed at the Chief’s homestead, which the traditional leader gulped while praying to the ancestral spirits.

The acting District Development Co-ordinator Charlton Murove was the master of ceremony. Chirumhanzu – Zibagwe MP, Prosper Machando was also present at the ceremony.

Chief Chirumanzu said that there will be another ceremony again in a week’s time which will this time be attended by representatives of the Chinese company.

After the rituals which started at around 10 am and ended at 2 pm, the delegations went on a tour of the area where mining will take place.

Tsingshan Holdings is also reportedly going to establish a 600MW power plant.

Some 800 villagers who are supposed to be evicted from the area have expressed their unwillingness to move.

But speaking at the event, Mavima pleaded with the community to accept the new venture as it is going to benefit them through employment and infrastructure development.

He warned that the investment will be taken elsewhere if the villagers remain hostile to the Chinese.

Civic society groups including the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) have since started pursuing a legal route to stop the eviction of the villagers.

Unlike European and American investors, Chinese investors are notorious for ill-treating workers, not ploughing back into the community and paying little attention to environmental issues.

They are also accused of exploiting natural resources and leaving the host countries and the communities poorer.

More: Masvingo Mirror

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