Chinese mall opens despite warnings from environmentalists

via Chinese mall opens despite warnings from environmentalists | SW Radio Africa by Mthulisi Mathuthu December 18, 2013

A controversial Chinese shopping mall, built on a gazetted wetland on the outskirts of Harare, was officially opened last Saturday amid continuing concerns from residents and experts.

The Long Cheng Plaza mall, was constructed by a Chinese company called Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Corporation at an estimated cost of over $200 million. A Daily News report on Monday quoted Collins Mnangagwa, an official at the Long Cheng Plaza, saying most shops will open next year as the tenants were still putting final touches to their premises. He said about 200 local and Chinese business people had snapped up the available space and about 400 more were on the waiting list.

However the project which began last year has always been mired in controversy. The Environmental Management Agency tried to stop the project on grounds that it was situated on a wetland.

Wetlands serve a variety of ecological services, including feeding downstream waters, trapping floodwaters, recharging groundwater supplies, removing pollution and providing fish and wildlife habitat.

The environmental agency is said to have backed down from taking legal action against the Chinese due to political pressure, but not before reportedly fining the Harare City Council for the same offence.

At the time soldiers moved in to guard the construction site, leading to reports that the Zimbabwe National Army together with the then Minister of Defence, Emmerson Mnangagwa, had an interest in the project.

Worship Damba, Chairperson of the Elected Councillors Association of Zimbabwe, said his association approached the then environment Minister Francis Nhema on discovering that the land was a gazetted wetland, but Nhema was ‘powerless’ because the project involved the army.

Damba said they were currently involved in a campaign to stop another construction on another wetland in Borrowdale, Harare. He said the Chinese were being given a ‘blank cheque’ to destroy the country’s environment.

On Tuesday SW Radio Africa reported how two Chinese companies had caused environmental damage, including siltation, in two major rivers in the Matabeleland South Province. So extensive is the damage the natural flow of both the Insiza and Umzingwane rivers has been affected.

The Chinese are also involved with the army in Chiadzwa diamond mining and constructed the Zimbabwe Defence College. They were also involved in the construction of the ZANU PF conference center in Gweru.


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18 comments on “Chinese mall opens despite warnings from environmentalists
  1. Peter tosh says:

    When are people ever gonna rest from these marauding selfish morons!

  2. furedi says:

    This is a very easy one.Zimbabweans should show their power by boycotting the the place.If no one goes there how long can those businesses last without customers.

  3. Nyepudzayi says:

    All this money could have been used to renovate Harare Hospital. I am not surprised if the whole complex turns out to be owned Chiyangwa and other ministers including the old man himself .

  4. This Collins mnangagwa is the son of guess who which master criminal.!!!! Munyaradzi kaseke told me that the yellow devils are being given the treasure of our national botanical greens to build a hotel conference Centre at the Alex park gardens. The current eye sore remand tomlinson prison gonna be flats with Chinese shop complex.the undeveloped large acreage at university in mt pleasant a Chinese golf course luna park.The prime land and railway station as well as girls queen Elizabeth school is also mortgaged far east to the new honorary indigenous chink

  5. Stingray says:

    Collins mnangagwa is an official at the complex ! says it all

    • Apolitical says:

      @Stingray A usual comment from a typical budding zimbo environmentalist clearly illustrating the limits of his expertise.

  6. Apolitical says:

    Has even one of these environmentalists got an Olevel??
    London and New YORK is built on flay.
    The problem is only in the need for strong foundations.
    In thev west universities and those qualified researched the problem and reasoned correctly that waterv flows underground and will continue to flow whether or not something is covering it orv built on top of it.
    We now have a nerwc breed of zimbo thickies who wish to reinvent science so they can get at the Chinese.
    Their mouth will simply open and close.

    • xoxo says:

      Problem is if yu are not an environmentalist yu wouldnt understand the implications of having a structure on a wetland. The eco-hydrological impact will be disastrous. Problem is people who make decisions are accountants, politicians, soldiers and illiterate councillors. Shame

      • Apolitical says:

        xoxo – lets start with you, what qualifications have you got????
        Did you even attend school?????
        I mean according to you as most caopita;lm c ities in thev world are built on wetlands the disartrous effects will shut down the world.
        In Ancient times ports were needed for trade, hence cities developed at river mouths on wetlands and marsh arears.
        They became ediucated and learnt how to build structures in those areas and ir didnt do anything to the environment and no university of environmentalist group in the world criticizes this.
        However in Zimbabwe we habve these iultra intelligent species who say its disastrous because we have new evidence invented by them.
        Please, have a little pride and dont show off your minimum IQ.

  7. Apolitical says:

    They are so bright they will suggest flattening the world.
    I mean there are hardly any major cities not built on wet lands.
    Liverpool is another built on marshland.
    Why don’t they say we don’t like the Chinese instead of illustrating there lack of IQ.

  8. Mdidi says:

    Are we now a Chinees colony?

  9. Moses says:

    No need for alarm , its in the wrong place anyway and few people will go there. It will be another white elephant , especially when our city centre moves to Mount Hampden

  10. Peter tosh says:

    Apolitical, don’t play hypocrite. I know u bomboclaat,

  11. Mthwakazi says:

    The environement does not mean anything to the Chinese – go to China and see for yourselves. In Beijing, you’ll shudder during aircraft take off or landing as you can hardly see the tall buildings surrounding the airport due to pollution!!

  12. Gudge says:

    Can anyone sponsor mi with a sniper riffle

  13. mary mombe says:

    whatever the situation with wetlands at the chinese shopping centre certainly there is not a problem at borrowdale where the new mall of zimbabwe is being built. the place has been checked out by the leading professor on wetlands in south africa and after drilling it was found not to be a wetland but it had plenty of burst sewerage pipes that leaks raw effluent into the vlei. the place is further being built by a twice awarded conservationist mr mccormack. the real reasomn there is a delay here is because the neighboring shopping mall run by the levys fear competition and are using there political connections to block the mall which will employ 5000 people. this needs to be exposed because if investors are being treated like this when they want to stick in $100 million it means that we have problems with people who for their own selfish reasons do not want zimbabwe to develop

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