By Leopold Munhende
CONTROVERSY-ridden Chinese mining giant Afrochine has alleged the cancellation of its mining grants were driven by racism and xenophobia.
This comes as government Tuesday suspended its operations inside Mavuradonha Wilderness where it had dug dangerously deep pits and constructed roads exploring for chrome.
The matter, which received attention in local and international media, was labeled as “coordinated reports” by Afrochine.
Responding to a NewZimbabwe.com video of Chief Chiweshe lashing out at their lack of respect for local communities and laws on Twitter, Afrochine said Zimbabweans should learn to address issues to the Zanu PF government.
“Racial profiling, racial hate and xenophobia can never be called bravery,” Afrochine said.
It further insinuated that it has done nothing wrong and blame should instead be on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
“Communities and individuals have to take on their Government and authorities and hold them to account not resort to cowardly cheap name-calling and low brow racism against investors whatever colour,” the company brazenly said.
Villagers around the wildlife conservancy told journalists on a recent media tour, they wanted the Chinese firm as far away from their cultural site as possible as it was destroying the environment and disregarding their views by building roads across their fields.
“The Chinese should just be stopped from getting anywhere near this site, the destruction they have caused is too much,” said Misheck Muchenje, one of the villagers.
“Their machinery causes a lot of dust and they do not care to address our worries as a community. They do not respect us, they have destroyed our water source and are building roads even on our fields without talking to us.”
The mining giant is in a similar crisis in Hwange where it is being accused of exploring and extracting coal inside Deka Safaris.
It is also being accused of vandalising graves belonging to ancestors of villages in the surrounding area in search of coal deposits.
Afrochine has also been accused of grabbing chrome 77 mining claims from locals in Selous.
The Chinese have remained untouchable because of political connections with ruling Zanu PF over the past decades despite continued pleas by Zimbabweans.