Illegal mining activities along Rujeko-Nemamwa road will potentially delay servicing of Rujeko D stands, a project council is targeting to complete to ease housing problems in the city, a full council meeting heard recently.
Speaking during a full council meeting held at council’s Civic Centre offices on November 1, 2021 Alderman Selina Maridza said illegal mining activities pose a danger of disturbing progress in the proposed Rujeko D area, which may result in council breaching policy if they do not act to stop the activities.
“We as council are saying, we are in the process of servicing residential stands for Rujeko D suburb, but how are we going to achieve that due to the dangers posed by the illegal mining activities being carried out?” said Maridza.
Masvingo Mayor Cllr Collen Maboke also added that council cannot accommodate mining activities in town as it may potentially land them in trouble with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.
“There is no way council can alterate policy by accommodating illegal mining activities in town. There is no need for us to abuse our office by trying to accommodate issues that are beyond the limits of our policy. There should be no resolutions going against council policy.
“Otherwise we are going to indirectly invite Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to arrest us for corruption. If policy outlaws mining in town, who are we to reverse that. Rusape councilors once resolved to pass a resolution that was against policy and all of them paid the ultimate prize as they were arrested over the case,” said Maboke.
During the meeting, Ward 10 councilor Sengerai Manyanga in whose jurisdiction the area falls professed ignorance saying that he does not even know the exact area where such activities are taking place in the area meant for Rujeko D.
Ward 8 Councilor Augustine Chiteme stressed that illegal mining activities are happening in Ward 10.
“Councilor Manyanga, the illegal mining activities being questioned are in your ward. It is along Rujeko-Nemamwa road before Masvingo Teachers College turn-off deep in your ward. Let the issue be referred back to the committee for reconsideration for a resolution,” said Chiteme.
Deputy Minister of Finance and Zaka East legislator is alleged to be one of those owning mining claims in the area.
When Chiduwa was contacted for comment he could neither confirm nor deny the allegations of owning a claim.
“Vanhu vanopenga (people are crazy), you can confirm with the Ministry of Mines on those allegations,” said Chiduwa before dropping the call.
Contacted for comment, Masvingo Provincial Mines Director Marshal Muzira could not comment on that issue.
“I am not authorized to speak to the media,” said Muzira.
Masvingo Provincial Police Spokesperson Inspector Kudakwashe Dhewa said there have been no reports of illegal mining cases at police.
“There are no such cases of illegal mining activities in Rujeko D which have been reported at our office so far,” Dhewa said.
Sometime this year, Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (MURRA) spokesperson Godfrey Mtimba confirmed that residents are expecting the servicing of stands at Rujeko D to be complete so that they get their own properties.
Earlier this year, council told TellZim News said the servicing of the stands in question was scheduled to start in November 2021.