Story by Courage Bushe
ILLEGAL gold mining activities have become a threat to socio-economic development at Mberengwa Centre where infrastructure is on the brink of collapse.
Endowed with vast mineral deposits which include gold, chrome, and platinum, Mberengwa District is arguably one of the country’s fastest-growing districts where infrastructure development is driven by the mining sector.
However, due to the fervent desire to grab a share and exploit the rich soils, illegal gold miners have become a threat to the socio-economic development of the area, prompting residents to raise alarm.
“They are digging anywhere and everywhere. All they care about is gold and violence. Now our road is now on the brink to collapse,” said a concerned resident.
Another resident added, “We are afraid that if measures are not taken the road will collapse during the rainfall season. These guys are mining just a few meters from the road which is very bad.”
The development has attracted the attention of key stakeholders with Mberengwa District Development Coordinator Mr Vafias Hlabati saying the government is seized with the matter.
“We have engaged ZRP and EMA to come up with a long-standing solution that will stop these Makorokoza,” he said.
“We understand that our area is rich in terms of minerals and we have to make sure that those minerals are extracted in a legal way and legal area,” he added.
This comes at a time when Illegal mining activities have resulted in challenges around land use due to competing interests with agricultural activities.