Mutoko’s Karimazondo and Chingamuka villagers are living in fear after ‘some’ Chinese officials informed them that they will be relocated to pave way for mining operations. The community members made efforts to seek clarity from the investors and local authorities on the impending relocations but to no avail.
The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) has since written to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development requesting information on the impending Mutoko relocations in terms of Section 7 of Freedom of Access to Information Act 1 of 2020 Chapter 10:33.
It is important to note that Mutoko community members have a right to public participation, access to information and the right not to be arbitrarily evicted as provided in terms of Section 62 and 74 of the Constitution as read with Section 4 of the Environmental Management Act. The country has taken progressive steps by putting in place legislative measures aimed at promoting sustainable development and protection of environmental rights. In essence the legal framework also provides for public participation in environmental governance for specified projects through which communities and other stakeholders are consulted as a way of assessing the likely environmental, economic, social and cultural impacts of projects. In Mutoko’s case, this has not yet been done.
Source: Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association