Conrad Mupesa Mashonaland West Bureau
AT least 14 villagers who were displaced by Rio-Zim’s subsidiary, Chakari Dalny Mine in its expansion and sustainability drive, are set to receive modern housing structures.
The villagers were relocated to Mukamba Village under Sanyati district’s Ward 3, with the mine having extended its life expectancy and securing jobs of over 470 workers.
The displacement saw the company opening a third gold claim to replace one of its first two that had been exhausted.
Villagers applauded the company for keeping its word.
“We are grateful that the mine has kept its word. The houses are modern and the borehole will help provide safe drinking water,” said Councillor Naison Tinapi.
“After negotiations of moving the villagers, the mine agreed to construct houses, drill a borehole and help clear their virgin fields.”
The villagers who lauded the move, however bemoaned the lack of a dam for their livestock and other purposes while the missing security fence around their fields has seen many loose their crops. Rio-Zim group corporate affairs executive, Dr Wilson Gwatiringa, promised to improve the lives of the host community through various community projects.
“We have to make our communities better. As Rio-Zim we believe we are defined by our communities and to that end, taking care of their environment is what we do.
“We believe in cooperation, together we can make a difference in uplifting socio-economic well-beings of our communities,” he said.
Officiating at the event, Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka said the Government expects organisations to come up with relocation plans for communities they seek to displace before moving them.
Minister Mliswa-Chikoka who challenged the community to safeguard the newly drilled borehole, said RIO-ZIM has also agreed to offer tributes to women, youths and other members of the community in the constituency as payback to the community.
“The company should benefit locals first including employment creation as this speaks to the Vision 2030 as enunciated by President Mnangagwa and National Development Strategy 1 (NDS-1),” she said.
Rio-Zim operates two gold mines in the district, including Golden Valley Mine, that have contributed significantly to the country’s US$12 billion mining industry by 2023.