Midlands Provincial Governor and Resident Minister Jason Machaya has accused chrome miners operating in the province of not ploughing back into the communities from where they carry out their activities.
Machaya said other mines in the province like Mimosa, Murowa and Unki had put in place notable community projects, but chrome miners were lagging behind and were instead destroying the environment.
“We have a challenge of chrome miners in the province who, instead of empowering the local communities like what other mines are doing, are in fact leaving communities to look after the pits after they cease operations.
“These pits pose danger to both human and animal life and we are saying they should rectify that problem before they start talking of community ownership and empowerment,” Machaya told
delegates at the Midlands provincial community ownership programme in Gweru last week.
Speaking at the same function, Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere said the community ownership programme was compulsory.
“We will force these mines to adhere to programmes meant to empower the locals. Our resources have been siphoned to develop infrastructure in Britain, America and Japan. Now is the time that we benefit from our own resources,” he said.
Meanwhile, representatives from three mining companies at the meeting said they were committed to the community ownership programme.
‘We are committed to fulfilling government programmes that seek to empower locals. Our history in working with communities in empowerment programmes speaks volumes about us. Just give us a chance and see if we will fail,” said Unki Platinum Mine chairperson July Ndlovu.
Mimosa Mine managing director Winston Chitando and Murowa Diamonds business services manager Edward Mazoredze expressed the same sentiments, saying they were committed to uplifting the communities they operated in.