TINASHE MAKICHI recently in Guruve
Traditional custodians of Mavuradonha area in Guruve, Mashonaland Central Province, have endorsed operations of the Chinese firm, Afrochine, which was granted mining rights in the area, Business Times can report.
The deal was hanging in the balance after Chief Chiweshe, born Matthew Chitemamuswe, accused Afrochine and other Chinese nationals as looters of the country’s mineral resources.
But,the traditional custodians of the area have dismissed Chief Chiweshe saying he was not the custodian and has no jurisdiction over the area.
Chief Chipuriro, born Clever Mashiki, who has jurisdiction over the area in question told Business Times Afrochine had the full endorsement of the traditional custodians in consultation with government agencies, local authorities and the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
He said development and investment in the area was for the good of the province under the new devolution agenda as well as the nation at large.
Chief Chipuriro called for co-existence between mining and other economic activities citing that any investment within Mavuradonha Wilderness Monument was in the interest of economic development of the country.
He said the Mavuradonha controversy was raised by people who lack knowledge of the terrain and the agreement that was reached between the investor, government, local authorities and the traditional custodians of the area.
“It is unfortunate that the Mavuradonha issue has been hijacked by some forces and as the local traditional custodians of the area in question, we allowed mining activities in consultation with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, National Monuments, EMA and other government agencies.
“We are the custodians of that area and not Chief Chiweshe and we are the ones that conduct rituals there. All my ancestors are buried in the caves there and we agreed with the investor that there should be co-existence between mining and tourism hence the investor agreed to fence the mining area. The monument and wildlife is safe. We welcome any investor irrespective of race or color as part of the developmental agenda.” Chief Chipuriro said.
He added: “Any development that will happen in Mavuradonha is for the benefit of everyone. Mining, tourism and other economic activities can coexist.”
Business Times can report that Afrochine, one of the country’s biggest ferrochrome producer is, however, yet to commence operations in Mavhuradonha.
Currently, mining operations taking place there are being done by illegal miners.
It is also understood that a recent High Court order stopping mining operations in the Wildlife reserve did not impose a blanket ban on mining on the area,which is Mashonaland Central’s highest GDP earner.
Apart from chrome and gold, other minerals found in Guruve include semi-precious stones and manganese.
In July, government through the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) announced that it would engage reputable companies to partner in the development of its chrome projects through mining, processing, beneficiation and value addition of chrome within its 40 blocks of claims occupying an area of about 1 464 hectares.