EMA Yet To Receive Environmental Impact Assessment From Chinese Miner Trying To Evict Villagers In Uzumba
The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) is yet to receive an environmental impact assessment report from Heijin Mining Company, a Chinese mining company, which is trying to evict several villagers from their ancestral land in the Uzumba Maramba-Pfungwe district.
Heijin Mining Company is the Chinese company that has reportedly told villagers in Kaseke, Uzumba district that they do not have rights to communal land and that they have no capacity to stop their eviction to pave way for granite stone mining. The Uzumba villagers engaged Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) to help them fight this colonial-style eviction from their homesteads, farming fields and grazing lands.
Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of ZLHR then sent a letter to the Mining Commissioner for Mashonaland East province and to the Environmental Management Agency seeking clarification about the prospecting licence authorising Heijin Mining Company to peg the village to conduct mining activities.
In the letter, Chinopfukutwa argued that even if a prospecting licence was granted to Heijin Mining Company, the pegging of Kaseke Village would still be unlawful if the holder of a prospecting licence exercises any of the rights conferred in terms of the prospecting licence on communal land without the consent of the occupier. He also stated that in terms of Section 31(1)(h) of the Mines and Minerals Act, no holder of a prospecting licence can peg communal land occupied as a village without the written consent of the Rural District Council of the area concerned.
The lawyer then asked for any approved Environmental Impact Assessment for the mining project. In response to the request, Juliet Mavu, EMA’s Provincial Environmental Manager for Mashonaland East province, said that Heijin Mining Company is yet to submit an Environmental Impact Assessment report for its intended mining project for approval.
*The Environmental Impact Assessment report, is a report which is used to identify and assess the potential environmental, social and health impacts of a proposed project, and to evaluate alternatives, and design appropriate environmental and social management plans during the lifecycle of the project.
Mavu said EMA received a prospectus for the proposed Kaseke and Chibvi 2 black granite mining, cutting and polishing plant in Uzumba Maramba-Pfungwe District from Heijing Mining on 29 June 2021.
Source : 263Chat