Panners invade varsity farm

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gold panners

BY KENNETH NYANGANI

GOLD panners have reportedly invaded Africa University (AU)’s farm in Mutare, vandalising water pipes and disrupting farming activities.

AU dean of students George Miti confirmed the development yesterday during a Zimbabwe Union of Journalists-organised community reporting Press club discussion held in Penhalonga.

“We have a farm at the university where we grow our crops, but we are having challenges as we get water from Mutare River. Our pipes are being vandalised because of the illegal mining activities, affecting our farming,” he said.

“Sometimes we end up having no network because cables which are underground would have been destroyed, and we are also worried over veld fires.”

Miti added: “We noticed that where there is illegal gold mining, there are various activities such as cooking using firewood. We are witnessing veld fires near the campus. We are in danger because the campus might catch fire.”

Mutasa South MP Regai Tsunga (MDC Alliance), addressing the same gathering, said he has already written to government and called for an all-stakeholders meeting to address illegal mining activities at the campus.

“The issue of illegal mining is a big issue, illegal mining is difficult to stop because the employment rate in the country is at 90%, with the youths the most affected group,” he said
“I have already written a letter to the government so that we correct the menace at Africa University and Mutasa district as well. I am calling for an all-stakeholders meeting so that we address the menace.”