By Thandiwe Garusa
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned Chinese mining companies to stop displacing communities from their ancestral lands.
He was addressing thousands of party supporters at a rally in Uzumba where he said the communities have power to decide whether or not they want mining projects on their land.
This comes after villagers there recently threatened to vote him out of power if he did not stop the impending mass displacements by a Chinese company targeting the lucrative black granite.
“We do not want people who come to do mining in an area and disrupt people’s ways of lives. Communities come first and that should be respected. No mining should happen without permission from the community and its leaders,” Mnangagwa said.
“If the community refuses, that should be final. I hear that there were people who wanted to do mining on a school premise and that is not acceptable. I told the minister of provincial Affairs for Mashonaland East that all those people should be reported. This is our nation, all the wealth that is in it is ours and it is us who must decide what to do with it,” he said.
Last month villagers in Uzumba vowed to vote Mnangagwa out of power if he remained silent while a Chinese owned mining company Heijin was harassing and displacing them from their ancestral land.
Uzumba is a known Zanu PF stronghold which has been the major source of votes.