A CHINESE company, Galechka Investments, reportedly mining for alluvial gold in Shurugwi without an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) plan heavily degrading the ecosystem escaped after being put to task, Environment Management Agency (EMA) official has revealed.
Phanuel Kudakwashe Mangisi, the EMA environmental impact and ecosystems protection officer for the Midlands told journalists at a media tour yesterday that the Chinese were mining without the EIA certificate and disappeared after the agency raided their illegal mining location.
Mangisi said the Chinese destroyed Manzimudhaka River in Shurugwi and their unlawful activities affected farmers downstream.
He said EMA was facing difficulties tracing the Chinese for them to rehabilitate the affected sites.
“These Chinese have been playing cat and mouse since 2012 when they began their illegal mining activities. We have been trying to trace them to rehabilitate the affected sites, but to date our efforts have been problematic,” Mangisi said.
He said EMA has since flighted for quotations from local companies to rehabilitate the area. The affected area is approximately 6,5km along the river. EMA provincial information and publicity officer Timothy Nyoka said the Chinese through their illegal activities were diverting the river to capture the water.
“Manzimudhaka feeds into Mutevekwi which in turn feeds into Runde River, but these people (Chinese) through their activities diverted the route of the river (Manzimudhaka),” Nyoka said.
Since their activities the Chinese have been issued with tickets and have a $5 000 fine pending. An affected farmer, Tinos Chiputu told Southern Eye that his farming land had been degraded as a result of the Chinese activities. EMA said the Chinese were once arrested last April with the help of the police, but are still to be located.