A brawl between Gwanda Ward 8 residents and Imani mine officials that lasted for nearly three years will soon be a thing of the past, following a high court ruling which ruled against ongoing operations at the mine. Over the years, late night disturbances from the mine blasts, cracked and broken windows, had become normal for Hlalani Kuhle – Garikari residents, who were at the mercy of a looming mining disaster.
Since 2018, Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) has facilitated dialogue between Gwanda Ward 8 residents, representatives of the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), Gwanda Residents Association, Imani Mine representatives, Municipality of Gwanda (MOG) Technocrats and Councilors over the blasts and impending environmental disaster at Imani Mine.
According to a High Court ruling as noted in the media, Imani mine has been ordered to cease operations with immediate effect after failing to comply to the prerequisites that are necessary for any company that undertakes mining operations.
“We are elated by the recent developments as they are proof that our work is finally paying off,” said Simbarashe Tasaranarino, a member of the Gwanda Community Economic Justice Development Trust (GCEJDT). “We have pushed the matter for a number of years, and we believe that the law is surely on our side considering the level of suffering that had been faced by those who are in the affected wards.”
Information has not yet been communicated through proper channels within the community, as a number of the residents are still unaware of the developments.
“We are yet to consult with other members within the residents association, as they should be at the fore front of delivering the message to the community,” said Dingilizwe Ndlovu, Gwanda Residents Association (GRA) representative from ward 8.
He further emphasized the need to follow proper leadership channels in the community in handling the matter of the high court ruling.
Lungile Masuku, the Executive Director for Gwanda Community Economic Justice Development Trust (GCEJDT), cited the development as an achievement that had become long over-due.
“EMA will conduct Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) consultation meetings and we hope to build the capacity of residents on the advantages and disadvantages of having EIA,” added Masuku.
Masuku made emphasis of the need for businesses to carry out responsible investments whenever mining projects are done.
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