By Mandipa Masenyama
A CHINESE black granite mining company operating in Mutoko has threatened to take legal action against the media for exposing its operations, after it was reported to have displaced some villagers in the district.
Jinding Mining Company said it did not displace any families, but gave each affected household US$2 500.
It went on to dismiss the media reports on its operations as malicious and groundless allegations.
Black granite mining is a lucrative business and the stone is exported mainly to Europe.
“There is a malicious and false accusation currently being circulated to the effect that Jinding has not properly compensated two Mutoko families for relocating those families from the Jinding mining claims there,” the company said in a statement this week.
“As for the so-called relocation of 50 households, it is even more rumors and slander. The fact is that the mining project only involves the relocation of three families.”
Jinding stated the compensation was a consensus between the company and the affected relocated families and all this was done with the consent of local community leaders.
“Jinding Mining has the requisite license, EMA (Environmental Management Agency) certificate, and community consent for quarry mining. Relocated families are compensated to their satisfaction; the agreement was signed in the presence of the local councilor, chief, and village representatives. Legal actions are underway to stop false stories.
“These accusations are completely groundless. Jinding has all the relocation contracts and payment proof of proper compensation for the two families relocated by Jinding arising out of its mining operations.
“The compensation amounts cited in the media stories are false. The exact amounts were determined with the mutual consent to the satisfaction of the relocated families and with the knowledge of the local councilors, community, and representatives of villagers,’’ the company added.
The company then threatened to take legal action against media houses that published these “fake and malicious accusations”.
“Jinding takes great exception to these malicious and false accusations and reserves its right to take the appropriate action against the purveyors of such false allegations. We will also request our lawyer to send a letter to the relevant press and request the relevant press to clarify the facts to the public and apologise to Jinding Mining.’’
The Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe also weighed and accused Western media outlets of reporting fake news on the operations of the Far East giant companies operating in Zimbabwe.
“Some Western media outlets keep smearing Chinese investment in Zimbabwe by making and spreading fake news. They are not Guardians of the interest of the Zimbabwean people but Guardians of illegal #sanctions imposed on Zim. Spooking Chinese investors in Zim is what they really want,’’ the embassy said.