“Mining violence a threat to prevalence of peace in Matobo”

Community members in Domboshava village, Matobo ward 17 are living in fear due to incessant violence from artisan miners in the area. This was revealed by Human Rights Monitors (HRMs) from Matobo that work with Heal Zimbabwe during a refresher training on human rights on 26 March 2021.

The HRMs reported that artisan miners are also poisoning water sources and at times assault villagers who refuse to comply with their demands. “We are living in constant fear here; these miners are so violent and bribe the police to avoid arrests. They have threatened that they will unleash a second wave of Gukurahundi if villagers continue to resist their mining activities,” said one participant. Another participant also noted that in the past, the local community mobilized each other and evicted the miners but in turn were assaulted and arrested by riot police. It was also noted that the violent mining activities had destroyed the social fabric and disrupted the prevalence of social cohesion. Other issues noted during the training was the issue of eviction of villagers in Hwange central, Dinde ward by a Chinese mining company. Participants further highlighted that villagers were not consulted before the proposed evictions.HRMs also reported that there was massive partisan distribution of Pfumvudza inputs in areas such as Bulilima, Matobo and Hwange. Other HRMs from Provinces such as Mashonaland West, Midlands and Masvingo noted that the ongoing Parliament recalls within the MDC, if not properly managed, had the potential of creating serious conflicts ahead of by elections.

The training by Heal Zimbabwe is part of efforts to empower local communities to help safeguard against human rights abuse and also help build peaceful communities. Heal Zimbabwe utilizes various strategies to address conflicts in local communities. One of these ways is the use of community dialogues, an initiative for communities to discuss and collectively identify ways through which they can proffer solutions to problems in their communities. The platforms also equip communities with relevant information on Covid 19, Gender Based Violence (GBV) and human rights. Such platforms also facilitate local level conversations on pertinent issues affecting communities as well as create socially cohesive communities.

Source: Heal Zimbabwe

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