BY SIMBARASHE SITHOLE
Artisanal miners, who invaded Mazowe Mine — popularly known as Jumbo Mine, have been accused of causing environmental degradation.
A Jumbo Mine official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told NewsDay at the weekend that the mine was now under care and maintenance, with a number of its workers joining the illegal miners to earn a living.
“Last year, we retrenched about 465 workers due to insolvency and remained with 600 workers. Two hundred of them are contract workers and we owe them $6 million, hence there is no way they can survive other than practising illegal mining. Security was withdrawn after the company failed to pay them,” the manager said.
On Wednesday, the company’s two buses, office furniture and other movable goods were auctioned through the sheriff in litigation.
Local Government minister July Moyo recently urged illegal miners to legalise their activities or face arrest.
“We hear that there are a lot of artisanal miners wreaking havoc in this province. These people should formalise their activities and be taxed. Failure to do so, the police should just arrest them. It is very easy to own a mining claim. The government has a facility to accommodate those who need mining claims,” Moyo said.