Land degradation worrying the Penhalonga community

Press release                                                                                     4
December 2018

Penhalonga community devastated by
land degradation

Land degradation, food insecurity
and water pollution in the Mutare river has led to loss of animal and human
life in the gold mining village of Penhalonga in Manicaland, a province in eastern

Two people have died,as
have a number of cattle, and the river has shifted its course more than 10
times in the past 5 years.

These social problems have
led to the suspension of the mining company, DTZ-OZGEO (Pvt Ltd) in Penhalonga
by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), an
agency of the climate and environment ministry.

“In 2014, the Parliamentary
Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development made a resolution to
terminate the company’s mining licence. The mine left massive land degradation,
and since that time there have been illegal gold mining activities happening
there,” says community member Lloyd Sesemani

According to Sesemani, the
community of Penhalonga has never benefited from DTZ-OZGEO mining activities.
The community was not consulted before mining operations began in 2007,and since
then there has been no meaningful contribution to services such as road
maintenance, and the building of infrastructure like schools and bridges.

There are rumours that the government
of Zimbabwe has engaged a mining company from Belarus to restart mining
operations in Penhalonga. “We are not against any mining company operating in
our community, but we are just against having history repeating itself. With
DTZ-OZGEO several families lost farming land which was their only source of
livelihood and most of them are now living in abject poverty,” says Sesemani

community has met and outlined the issues to be addressed before mining
activity can resume. These include meaningful consultation with all
stakeholders around issues like development in the community, ensuring local
procurement, and ensuring the employment of local people in the mines. The mine
must have an environmental impact assessment certificate from the EMA. And
there needs to be meaningful compensation paid to those who have been affected
by operations

NOTE TO EDITORS: The Ubumbano Community
Voice website and application is a platform for community activists in Southern
Africa to share stories of their struggles for dignity and justice, and for
journalists and others to get direct access to those stories. It is supported
by the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of faith-based organisations.


Nhlanhla Kubeka

Account manager

Tel: +27
11 888 0140

Cell: +27
79 847 897




Tel: +263
71 416 3568



ACT Ubumbano: Change Manager

Cell: +27
83 442 4497


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