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Matobo miners shortchange council

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BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE

THE Matobo Rural District Council has bemoaned low revenue inflows amid concerns that mining companies operating in the district were not paying enough levies.

Council chief executive officer Elvis Sibanda said mines hardly paid levies to the local authority.

“We have a very serious problem with the mining companies in the district. The mines hardly pay their levies to council. They are quick to pay to the central government but not to us,” Sibanda said.

“The other problem we have is the database for the miners that are operating in the district. We have tried to engage the Ministry of Mines to provide us with a database, but it’s a challenge.”

Sibanda said the other problem in the district was the issue of mine owners changing very often.

“You discover that there are some miners in the districts and they are not registered and that alone becomes a challenge. The other issue is that someone owns a mine and the next day that same mine has been taken over by someone else,” Sibanda said.

“In terms of development, we are still having a challenge with mines.”

Sibanda also complained over the issue of land degradation by illegal miners.

“On the ground it is visible there is no reclamation of the ground. Most of these miners are illegal miners and we all know how they attend to the environment,” he said.

Sibanda could not be drawn into revealing the total revenue debt owed by the mining sector to the council.

Recently, villagers in Matobo district blocked a mining company, Mazinahue Syndicate, from mining in the area, fearing that they would be evicted from their ancestral lands.

Most communities located near mines have been crying foul of not benefiting from the mining activities in their communities.

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