Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has intervened to protect several villagers in Kaseke Village in Uzumba in Mashonaland East province, who are at the risk of losing their homesteads, farming fields and grazing land to Heijin Mining Company.
ZLHR lawyer Tinashe Chinopfukutwa on 2 September 2021 wrote a letter to the Mining Commissioner for Mashonaland East province and to the Environmental Management Agency seeking explanations regarding the existence of a prospecting licence authorising the miner to peg the village so as to conduct mining activities.
Chinopfukutwa said in the event that a prospecting licence was granted to Heijin Mining Company, then the pegging of Kaseke Village is unlawful as a holder of a prospecting licence shall not exercise any of the rights conferred in terms of the prospecting licence on communal land without the consent of the occupier.
The human rights lawyer stated that the pegging of Kaseke Village without consultation and the consent of the occupiers of the land is unlawful and that in terms of Section 31(1)(h) of the Mines and Minerals Act, no holder of a prospecting licence can proceed to peg communal land occupied as a village without the written consent of the Rural District Council of the area concerned.
Chinopfukutwa has asked if any Environmental Impact Assessment was conducted in relation to the mining project and if so to be furnished with a copy of the certificate approving the prospecting and pegging of Kaseke Village by Heijin Mining Company.
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