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Chief Chirumanzu Accuses Chinese Miners Of Looting Chrome

9 September 2021

Acting Chief Chirumanzu, born Fidelis Mudzengi, has described Chinese chrome miners in the Midlands Province as looters after they allegedly failed to construct roads and bridges which they promised 15 years ago.

Speaking during a phone interview with The Mirror, the traditional leader said the chrome miners have been lying to villagers for 15 years.

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His frustrations come at a time when the Government has given another Chinese company, Dinson Iron and Steel, a subsidiary of the Tsingshan Group Holdings, the green light to establish a US$1 billion mine to extract iron ore in his area.

Hundreds of families will be evicted from their homes to clear the way for the establishment of the mine.

Chief Chirumanzu said that the Chinese have done nothing but loot minerals and villagers feel betrayed and used.

Companies like Washrock, Afro-Chine and Bhundey that are mining chrome in Lalapanzi promised to construct the Makomborero Bridge and rebuild roads like Lalapanzi – Mahama but none of the pledges has been honoured. Said the chief:

The Chinese made promises to villagers in Lalapanzi 15 years ago but there is nothing.

They are just looting without giving back to the people who own the land. The villagers are angry.

After severely damaging the Mvuma-Kwekwe Road, they have switched to Lalapanzi Road.

A spokesperson of one of the Chinese mining company Johnson Bai said they will make sure that the local communities in which they operate benefit from the natural resources. He said:

We are going to prioritize infrastructure development so that the locals benefit.

We are also doing a lot in terms of employment opportunities where locals are given first preference in mining exploration and we believe our mining operations will leave communities developed as it is one of our thrust.

Chairperson of the Mines and Minerals Development Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Edward Mukaratigwa said there was consensus on the need to review mining laws in the country particularly the principal Act – Mines and Minerals Act so that communities benefit from their natural resources.

A chief from Mashonaland Central, Chief Chiweshe, recently accused Chinese miners of operating just like MaShurugwi, the name for illegal gold panners who move from place to place carrying machetes and engaging in violence and in some cases armed robbery.

More: The Mirror