Mberengwa DDC intervenes in miner, villagers’ dispute

DA Ndeya Nyede (blue mask), Lands Inspection Technician Mildred Zhou (red jersey), Agritex District Officer Mr Mamhare Faro (white jacket), Secretary of Mberengwa Miners Association Phelandaba Mpofu, chairperson Mberengwa Miners Association Anderson Tsikira

Sharon Nyaya

Mberengwa -Mberengwa District Development Co-ordinator (DDC), Ndeya Nyede has moved in to resolve a dispute between villagers in Mathe, Honyobwe, Hibbo and Ebor Mine which has sunk shafts in villagers’ fields.

Nyede recently chaired a meeting attended by the two parties to the dispute which was also attended by The Mirror.
The meeting which was held on August 31 and organised by the Ministry of Lands was attended by people from Mathe, Honyobwe and Hibbo villages and representatives of Ebor Mine.The villagers complained that Ebor was invading and sinking mining shafts in their fields without any notice. They also complained against the mine for its total disregard for the rights of the villagers.

The DDC acknowledged the complaints at the beginning of the meeting.

Villagers described the miner as contemptuous, rude and stubborn. They told the DDC that the miner broke fences and installed mining equipment in villagers’ fields without saying a word to the owners.
This is despite the fact that the villagers have offer letters to their land.

Tavimbanashe Khoza, the headman for Honyobwe said that Ebor had unfair and unethical business practices which were outright bullying. He said that the miner was using financial muscle to push around poor villagers who are the true owners of the land.

Mathe headman, Louis Mapfumo complained against the harassment that the villagers allegedly suffer under the hands of the mine. He said that the mining company was pulling down villagers’ fences and lacked ubuntu.
“We are afraid to co-exist with people who have no ubuntu like these ones. We have been here for more than 20 years, we have legitimate Government papers that accord us this land and then for anyone to just come and push us around without any explanation is an outright provocation. Chances of peaceful co-existence are none,” said Mapfumo.

Monday Moyo, Ebor general manager initially said he could not speak Shona. He said he was not aware that there were people staying in the mine’s claims until 2018.

After hearing both sides, the DDC asked villagers to produce their papers for the land and they did. Ebor also produced papers showing that it bought Ebor, Silver Jackle and Nelia claims from Robert Knott in 2009. The miner however, did not produce Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) papers. This angered the villagers who became rowdy and the meeting was postponed to another day.

Lands Inspection Technician Mildred Zhou warned villagers against violence.

District Agritex Officer, Mamhare Faro was present and so were Mberengwa Miners Association chairperson Anderson Tsikira and secretary Phelandaba Mpofu. https://masvingomirror.com

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