Govt, international partners move to clear land mines in Rushinga

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Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri

DEFENCE minister Oppah Muchinguri says government is making significant strides towards a land mine free country by 2025.

BY SIMBARASHE SITHOLE

Speaking at the handover of 6,6 million square metres of land cleared of land mines by Helo Trust, a non-governmental organisation which focuses on land mine clearance, in Rushinga on Friday Muchinguri said their target is to clear all land mines in the next six years.

“Government, in collaboration with international partners, has made significant progress in demining fields contaminated during the liberation struggle, at least 127 million square kilometres has so far been cleared of land mines from initial area of 310 million square kilometres at independence, the pace of demining indicates the target to clear all mine fields by 2025 will be met” she said.

“As long as landmines are still there even having achieved our independence, we will not have finished the work of the liberation war.”

Muchinguri said the Japanese, United Kingdom and American governments were committed to continue assisting Zimbabwe in the demining exercise.

Addressing the same gathering, Minister of State for Mashonaland Central province Monica Mavhunga said the cleared land will support agriculture in Rushinga.

“Active land mines continue to threaten people and livestock rendering vast tracts of land unusable. This cleared land will go a long way in fostering agriculture. I, therefore, thank government and its partners for the work they are doing in clearing land mines,” Mavhunga said.