BY SILISIWE MABALEKA
VILLAGERS in Hwange’s Lusumbani area have appealed to government to review underground mining concessions granted to coal miners to ensure they don’t pollute the environment and endanger their lives.
Greater Whange Residents Association chairperson Fidelis Chima said Lusumbani residents were opposed to the opening of underground mines near their villages.
“We acknowledge that Hwange Colliery Mining Company is mining within the stipulated legal framework, 250 metres away from the community. However, we are saddened by the colonial system of concessions where individuals or companies were given vast pieces of land that had been idle. We appeal to our Parliament to revisit this issue,” Chima said.
He said mines should be located at places that benefit people without posing environmental threats to them, adding that this should not only apply to Hwange, but other mining sites throughout the country.
Hwange Colliery Mining Company spokesperson Beauty Mutombwe said the coal miner last week met residents and reached consensus on the matter.
“We had a meeting with residents last week; they don’t have problems with our mining activities. If there is any individual that is still experiencing problems, that person can approach us,” she said.