Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD), this morning conducted a Gwanda Mining Dialogue with representatives from the local authority, Environmental Management Agency (EMA), Gwanda Residents Association (GRA), and Hlalani Kuhle residents to deliberate on the ongoing mine blasts that have led to cracks on the walls of houses in Ward 8 (Hlalani Kuhle / Garikai). The meeting sought to shed light on measures ideal in addressing the plight of Hlalani Kuhle residents.

Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD), this morning conducted a Gwanda Mining Dialogue with representatives from the local authority, Environmental Management Agency (EMA), Gwanda Residents Association (GRA), and Hlalani Kuhle residents to deliberate on the ongoing mine blasts that have led to cracks on the walls of houses in Ward 8 (Hlalani Kuhle / Garikai). The meeting sought to shed light on measures ideal in addressing the plight of Hlalani Kuhle residents.

The Mining Dialogue was a follow up to a series of engagements that had been put in place since 2016 up to date by Gwanda residents. Last year, WILD facilitated a site visit at Imani mine and Ward 8 houses with relevant stakeholders such as the EMA, Gwanda Municipal and the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.

The site visit resulted in a report that the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development compiled highlighting the challenges at hand within Ward 8. Residents ridiculed the findings that were articulated in the report as it stated that mine blasts in Ward 8 do not necessarily cause cracks in people’s houses.

The recurring mine blasts are a threat to those living close to the mine that is alleged to be responsible for such practices. Families now fear for the worst due to the mine blasts that residents had been complaining to the Municipal of Gwanda for the past couple of years.

The representative from Gwanda Rural District Council (GRDC) highlighted that Imani mine was registered under the RDC. As noted in the statutory laws at GRDC, Imani Mine was permitted to operate through custom milling and not riff mining.

The Municipal Engineer admitted a future recurrence of a problem of mines, considering the rate at which Gwanda Town is expanding. Imani Mine may resurface as a challenge, but there is need for the Municipal to be cognisant of futuristic town planning.

Residents were advised to report the matter of mine blasts to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), as the mine is breaching laws that they ought to abide by.

As a mitigation measure, Ward 8 residents agreed to embark on another site visit that will include individuals who were left out of the previous one which has reports disregarded by residents as falsehoods.

Source: Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD)