MASVINGO residents have written to the city council demanding that the local authority take action, within seven days, to address the proliferation of illegal gold miners at the Target Kopje Hills whose activities are affecting the city’s water supplies and nearby residential properties.
Through the Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Association (MURRA), the residents said in a letter dated 16 October 2020, council should quickly move in to stop the illegal mining activities in the area or be dragged to court.
Through its lawyers, Mutendi, Mudisi and Shumba, MURRA said the mining activities were damaging the water reservoirs and contaminating purified water stored in the tanks before being distributed to the city suburbs.
Residents in areas near the hills that include, Target Kopje, Hillside Extension, Mucheke B popularly known as Majange and Mucheke C have complained that the constant blasting of explosives by the miners is damaging their properties.
“It is also common cause that the water reservoir tanks that store water supply for the whole City of Masvingo are located at the said area. We are informed that the said water storage tanks have a capacity of more or less 10 million litres.
If these illegal miners are not stopped the water reservoir tanks may end up bursting which will culminate in flooding and destruction of structures,” reads part of the letter.
The residents said the illegal gold panners are using dangerous chemicals such as cyanide and mercury which are also dangerous if they pollute the water.
“We give you seven days to address the above issue or to sit down with our client and unpack your strategic plan on how you intend to stop the illegal mining activities. If either of the above is not done within seven working days calculated from the date of this letter our client may be forced to approach the courts for relief.”-The Sunday News