BY OBERT SIAMILANDU
CONFLICTS between farmers and artisanal miners in Zvishavane are beginning to escalate, with farmers saying illegal miners were encroaching into their fields and grazing area, thereby endangering livestock.
Farmers who spoke to Southern Eye said they tried to engage the artisanal miners in vain and were now appealing to government to stop illegal mining activities in the area.
They also said mining activities were polluting water sources.
“We have tried to engage the miners without success,” said one of the affected farmers, Thomas Chirimunjira.
“These artisanal miners are very violent, and they do not listen to our complaints. We would like the government to intervene before the situation goes out of hand.”
Zimbabwe Young Farmers Association national co-ordinator Cephas Shonhiwa said they were worried about what was happening in Zvishavane, and would engage relevant authorities for assistance on the matter.
“We got reports from our member farmers about what is happening, and we are very worried about this. We will investigate and engage relevant authorities for further assistance,” Shonhiwa said.
Last year, government said mining should not supersede farming, hence miners should always seek consent of farmers that own the land before they embark on mining activities.
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