Zimbabwean government says it has banned mining activities in national parks following an outcry over Hwange.
Environmental defenders and citizens took to the various social media platforms to register pleasure on the issue forcing the reversal.
Some residents had already challenge the awarding of the coal concession in the courts of law and were awaiting for determination.
So much was the pressure and noise that the government had to reverse its decisions.
“Mining on areas held by National Parks is banned with immediate effect.
“Steps are being undertaken to immediately cancel all mining title held in National Parks,” said Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa.
The Cabinet also made the below listed resolutions on the issue of riverbed mining in the country
Riverbed Mining and Environmental Challenges
Cabinet considered a paper which was co-presented by the Ministers of Mines and Mining Development and Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry on the status of riverbed mining/drenching and the environmental challenges thereof.
Having noted the challenges and the need to put in place measures to carry out sustainable mining operations in the sector, Cabinet directed as follows:
1. Riverbed and Alluvial Mining on Rivers
(a) All riverbed alluvial and riverbed mining on rivers is banned with immediate effect, except on the Save and Angwa rivers where desiltation will be allowed under very strict conditions.
2. Introduction of “Orderly Mining Initiatives”
(a) All those holding mining concessions will be given a grace period to be announced to obtain Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and State of Works Plan acceptance by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
(b) It was noted that the granting of a Mining Concessions through mining claims and on special grant is not a license for resumption of mining. All holders of mining title are required to obtain approval of EIA and acceptance of Site Plan Works by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. This position will be strictly reinforced by the two Ministries responsible for Mines and Environment.
(c) Those who fail to regularize EIA and Site Plan Works will be deemed to be operating illegally and will be subject to stiff penalties which are being reviewed.
(d) The whole objective is to have all mining operations conducted in a manner which does not harm the environment. Stiff penalties shall be aimed at all those who are not complying with environmental provisions.