500 face eviction from Kamativi Mine houses

OVER 500 families at Kamativi Tin Mine are living with the threats of eviction hanging over their heads to pave way for workers employed by a new Chinese investor.

BY STAFF REPORTER

Government has partnered with a Chinese investor, Beijing Pingchang Investment, to reopen the mine which closed in 1999 when global tin prices plummeted.

In May, the company’s managing director, Shouming Lin, was grilled by Parliament for the stripping of assets at the tin mine and failure to make a $100 million financial injection as promised in the agreement they made with Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC).

The affected include former mine workers, widows and orphans left behind by workers who had passed on during the period the mine was closed.

Chairperson of the Kamativi Early Settlers’ Development Organisation (Kesedo), a grouping of former mine workers, Freeman Banda, yesterday confirmed that residents were leaving in fear of being evicted.

“The threats are there and ZMDC is mum about our status here. We once told our plight to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development when it visited here eight months ago. Honourable Temba Mliswa told us that the committee would see how we could be helped,” Banda said.

He said ZMDC promised that it would solve the matter with them after it concluded talks with the investors, but Hwange Rural District Council, which administers the houses on ZMDC’s behalf, keeps threatening us with eviction.

“Investors are on the ground now, and we expect that since they are bringing development, they should build new houses rather than evicting us. Most of these families have nowhere to go. People are failing to pay rentals because there was no economic activity for them here,” Banda said.

Mliswa yesterday said he was in a meeting when contacted for comment.

Most of the former mine workers earn their living by fishing in the crocodile-infested Kamativi Dam, where a number of residents have lost their lives to the reptiles.

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