By Romeo Takundwa
Hwange Central Constituency legislator, Daniel Molokele has challenged investors to prioritise citizens rights before profiteering.
Molokele was speaking during a virtual meeting facilitated by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) to support members of parliament to effectively engage their constituencies and efficiently draft motions on mining related governance issues.
He went on to highlight the negative impacts of an extractive mining model adopted by several mining companies operating in his constituency.
Operations by Chinese mining company, Beifa Investments have resulted in the violation of locals’ environmental, social and cultural rights.
“Mining models that are being done nowadays are instead extractive and exploitative as they have a complete disregard about the welfare and the future of locals especially here in Hwange
“We want a mining concept that worries more about the future and not that which only seeks profit,” he said.
Currently in Hwange, there is a raging conflict as the Dinde community faces imminent displacements to pave the way for coal mining and thermal power projects .
The Chinese owned mining firm, Beifa Investments reportedly told the community it had no financial resources to fund relocation and building of standard infrastructure for the affected families.
If implemented the project is going to destroy at least 13 schools, a dip tank, thousands of homesteads, cultural heritage sites which include the gravesite of local traditional chiefs and several cemeteries.
Molokele expressed gratitude for the work that is being done by ZELA together with other civil society organisations citing that this will enable him to effectively play his oversight role as a legislator.
“As a member of parliament I am very happy with the capacity building that we are having from ZELAas it will help me to speak with clarity and speak with consistency about mining inconsistencies that are happening in our midst,” added Molokele.
Many mining communities in the country have been riddled with poor revenue management, under-regulated riverbed mining and other human rights issues.
As such ZELA has embarked on a drive to provide legal expertise and capacity building to Members of Parliament to effectively represent their constituencies through raising motions in parliament.