The State has withdrawn its case against the vice-chairperson of Dinde Residents Association, Never Tshuma citing a lack of interest in the case.
Tshuma was arrested on 15 April this year after he allegedly incited Katambe community members to storm a Beifer Investments exploration site in Dinde in an effort to block the Chinese company from starting work.
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He was subsequently charged with incitement of violence and since then the case has faced false starts with COVID-19 exacerbating the situation.
However, in a turn of events, the state seemed to have a change of heart and decided to withdraw the case.
Tshuma’s lawyer, Gerald Taremekedza Musengi of Muvhiringi and Associates confirmed the development to CITE arguing that the state had no evidence of wrongdoing. Said Musengi:
Yes, I can confirm that we have managed to have the case withdrawn. The circumstances were primarily that the complainant felt that they could not pursue the matter anymore that’s the only reason they gave. Also, the inquiry was that there was no case.
Tshuma who was on bail had to endure the agony of not being able to visit his homestead after the court barred him as part of his bail conditions.
Greater Whange Residents Trust (GWRT) welcomed the development arguing that residents were worried about the lack of sustainable development. GWRT coordinator, Fidelis Chima said:
We welcome the withdrawal of charges against Tshuma. The communities are worried about the mushrooming of mining companies without sustainable development, without proper consultations with affected communities and no corporate social responsibility that is meaningful.
He called for the reformation of the Mines and Minerals Act so that communities affected by mining activities also benefit from the minerals in their localities as shareholders.
Chima added that a reformed Mines and Minerals Act should protect community members from being evicted without their views being seriously taken into consideration and also in the event that they are displaced, they should be compensated promptly.