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Mining: Investors at war with local citizens over traditional values

By Andwatch Mambo in Mutoko

Locals in Mutoko district are up in arms with foreign investors over failure to observe traditional beliefs while implementing mining activities.

Villagers told this publication that  foreign investors are not paying attention to their cultural norms, and traditional believes at large.

In an interview with Zim Morning Post local authorities revealed that having investors in the Mutoko District has affected their relationships with their ancestors.

“These foreign investors, are destroying our sacred places, places which define us as African people” said Chief Mutoko of ward 12.

He further said, “for us, as Africans, these sacred places mean a lot because these are shrines, places we used to go to appease our ancestors. This is where we as the community go whenever there is a need to make prayers or offer sacrifices to our ancestors.”

Chief Mutoko further revealed that the violation of sacred places has not only destroyed their relations with the ancestors but rather has alfo led to serious challenges which need to be resolved.

He said: “we are not against the issue of investment because we are aware of the fact that it takes investment for an economy of the nation to flourish.”

“But our main concern is that we expect these foreign investors to, at least, respect our traditions.”

“(CRG) an Italian company destroyed our Dzimbabwe which was sacred. There were different clay pots which we believe our ancestors left for us at this place but when CRG came to mine granite at the place the mining company never contacted us or reasoned with us.

“They jus went on and tore the whole place down and now as we speak the place has turned into a Dam, which is claiming innocents lives.”

He also said they are losing their sons and daughters to this place.

“The young ones love to go to this place and in return what we hear are cases of drowning to death.”

In another interview a local community leader also revealed that Foreign investors are posing a threat to the community’s most respected places namely cemetries.

“We are greatly depressed with what these investors are doing to us, to our land, our community.

“Natural stones granite mining company at one point through its unorganized activities exposed bones of a deceased family member and we as the community had to carry the exposed deceased remains and rebury them to a different location.”