Mutare residents petition minister over Chinese quarry miner

Nokuthula Matsikenyere

MUTARE residents and civic groups yesterday petitioned Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Nokuthula Matsikenyere to intervene and stop Chinese quarry mining operations on the “sacred” Dangamvura Mountain.

A total of 35 civic groups signed the petition against the Chinese Freestone Quarry Mining company.

“We the civil society and residents groups operating in Mutare, do hereby restate our position regarding the intention by Freestone Quarry Mining Company to carry out quarrying activities at Dangamvura Mountain,” the petition read in part.

“We take note of a recent meeting held at a town hall in Mutare, where Freestone, acting in cahoots with some officials at Mutare City Council, renewed their advances at the sacred Dangamvura Mountain.

Dangamvura Mountain

“We reiterate that no mining or quarrying will take place at Dangamvura Mountain or anywhere within the surveyed limits of the City of Mutare. A resolution was made by the residents of Mutare at a public meeting held at Skyview Conference Centre on January 27, 2022.”

Some of the organisations that signed the petition include the United Mutare Residents Ratepayers Trust, Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Association and the Centre for Natural Resource Governance.

“Any further advances by Freestone Quarry Mining at the sacred Dangamvura Mountain will be viewed by the residents of Mutare as an act of provocation and bullying and will not be tolerated,” the said.

“Dangamvura Mountain is sacred and situated at an ecologically sensitive site whose desecration will have far-reaching environmental and social consequences to local people.”

Freestones Quarry Mining Company spokesperson Njabulo Chipangura last week said their operations were above board.

Njabulo Chipangura

“As Freestones Mines, we have done all procedures to start quarry mining, but we have to make sure that we have fully engaged Mutare residents over the issue,” he told NewsDay.

The mining company last week also engaged the residents including the United Mutare Residents Ratepayers Trust and Manicaland Youth Assembly to clarify its position.

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