MORE than 150 women in Bubi District in Matabeleland North have embarked on mining projects in an effort to empower themselves.
By Melody Chimhau
Women in Mining Organisation president Annakita Gumba, said their activities were contributing to economic development of the country and appealed for government intervention to beef up their project.
Gumba told Southern Eye during a tour of the area last week that their activities were hampered by lack of finance.
“Although we are facing a lot of challenges in this business, women play an important role in society and it is important that we empower them,” she said.
“The organisation is made up of 150 women from the Bubi District and each member is expected to pay a joining fee of $50 and we are encouraging more women to come and join us.
“I personally sourced the mining claims from the Ministry of Mines because it is our duty as an organisation to make sure that all the women benefit.”
Apart from lack of resources, Gumba said they were facing challenges of land clashes with illegal miners in the area.
She appealed to the authorities for protection.
“One of the main challenges we are a facing is of illegal miners in this area,” Gumba said.
“These illegal miners are doing their activities on our land and we have been faced with situations where they have threatened us.
“We were allocated this place in April this year but since then we haven’t been able to mine peacefully because we do not have proper machinery and the issue of illegal miners competing with us.”
Gumba said police had failed to protect the area and arrest the illegal miners.
“These illegal miners are working in our area mostly at night and at some point they threatened me with axes but l was disappointed with the police because they could not come due to transport challenges,” she said.
“We fear for our lives and we appeal to the authorities to come here and settle the matter of illegal miners.”
Last week, a Bubi Rural District councillor accused some government officials of fuelling illegal mining activities in the area resulting in violent clashes.
The district is suspected to be rich in gold, diamonds, copper, nickel and limestone deposits.
Illegal miners have flooded Bubi in recent years targeting mainly gold.