A Chinese mining company, Heijin, has reportedly told villagers in Kaseke, Uzumba district, that they have no capacity to stop their eviction to pave way for granite stone mining as they have no title deeds to the disputed communal land.
Chief Nyajina last Wednesday told a government delegation tasked to resolve the land dispute that the mining company’s representatives had told them to stop fighting for their ancestral land since they did not have rights to it.
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The delegation comprised Local Government minister July Moyo, Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs minister Apolonia Munzverengwi, Mines deputy minister Polite Kambamura, Zanu PF acting Mashonaland East provincial chairperson Michael Madanha, Uzumba legislator Simbaneuta Mudarikwa and Maramba legislator Tichaona Karimazondo, among others.
Chief Nyajina said the company’s representatives were disrespectful and claimed to be connected to the highest offices in the land. He said:
What pained me the most is when this company told us villagers are not important as we do not have title deeds to our land. In other words, that means that those with mining certificates are now the custodians or owners of the land and we do not matter anymore….
A Heijin representative openly told me and my village heads to look for alternative land for our people — and I asked, where? Is this the correct procedure that they followed?
He said there should have been consultations with the community first.
Chief Nyajina further alleged that 70 homesteads fall within the pegged area contrary to only 20 households as the Mines ministry had claimed.
Government officials then promised to summon the mining company and Mashonaland East provincial mines officers to resolve the standoff.
More: NewsDay Zimbabwe