Centre for Natural Resources Governance director, Farai Muguwu says he welcomes the State’s move to withdraw its case against the vice-chairperson of Dinde Residents Association, Never Tshuma.
Tshuma was arrested on 15 April following a protest by Katambe community members in Dinde against the exploration of coal in their area by a Chinese company, Beifer Investments.
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He was subsequently charged with incitement of violence and as part of his bail conditions, he was barred from visiting his homestead.
Speaking in an interview with CITE, Muguwu said though a battle had been won with the Tshuma case the struggle for land rights continued. He said:
Regarding the withdrawal of charges, I’m happy that Never Tshuma is now able to visit his village and parents after about 3 months of banishment from his community and land.
We say the charges were never supposed to be there in the first place he was being wrongfully persecuted for standing up for what is right for his community, land and people.
Now I think the community must continue defending their right to exist, land and heritage.
So the struggle for the Dinde community continues it dates back to 2019 when these people were first contacted by Beifer Investment and they clearly made their thoughts known that didn’t want the investment and to be move from their area.
It’s a dirty investment and the Chinese have shown complete disregard of the rights of the people of Zimbabwe.
Therefore we cannot condone such a situation where people come all the way to come and drive our people off the land.
We don’t care what letter they carry or the authority that has granted them permission but the reality is that according to the constitution it is our land and no one can come and tell us to just go.