Itai Muzondo in Zvishavane
ZVISHAVANE – Zimbabwe's leading platinum producer; Mimosa Mining Company last week reached out to villagers in Zvishavane and Mberengwa districts who were left destitute by Cyclone Dineo which wrought extensive damage to homes and fields in the districts.
The mining giant made donations of 20 tonnes of maize, 1000 blankets, 10 tonnes of soya chunks, five tonnes of sugar beans, three tonnes of matemba, two tonnes potatoes, two tonnes of onions, cabbages, 1 000 blankets and other groceries to 400 desperate families.
The goods were handed over through traditional leaders in the affected areas with Mimosa pledging to partner government to rebuild destroyed infrastructure.
Minister of Mines and Mining Development; Walter Chidhakwa thanked Mimosa for the spirit of love they have always shown to different communities.
"I know our chiefs were troubled by the disaster which hit their communities. This gesture by Mimosa is therefore very important for the people of who were affected. This is a big token of love. If Mimosa was had no love, they wouldn't have heard the cries of others.
"They could have chosen to be selfish but what they have done shows that they have a heart and they care not only for areas in which they operate, but for the whole country too. Today, Mimosa is simply sharing the love," said Chidhakwa.
The minister lamented the effect that the floods have had on the productive mining sector, saying productivity had gone down due to flooded shafts.
"Productivity in the mining sector has been lowered especially in small scale mining ventures whose shafts are flooded. Coal production has also been affected and that has had a negative impact on tobacco farmers who need coal to process their harvest," added Chidhakwa.
The Minister of State for Midlands Province provincial Affairs, Jason Machaya who was also present at the event, said the presence of Mimosa in the province was a blessing.
"Mimosa is like our first born child. In our culture, if the first born doesn't lead by example, we know that family is doomed. Mimosa has proved to the Midlands province that it is a responsible first born child.
"Of the affected places, Gokwe recorded 12 deaths; eight of them from Gokwe South. My other worry is on destroyed infrastructure because even if we get aid, it is hard to reach out to the affected places," said Machaya.
Mimosa Mining Company chairperson; Winston Chitando promised that the mine has other plans to further assist affected families.
"We are glad to bring aid to communities in exchange for the love they show us. We will not end here as we will host a fundraising dinner to help affected communities soon," said Chitando.
Meanwhile, Mberengwa District Administrator (DA), White Nkoma noted that some victims are still cut off from their homes as the areas remain largely unreachable.
"The rains destroyed infrastructure. We are glad relief is now coming our way. It should however be noted that besides the child who was swept away by a flooded river and found 15 km away, more than 20 children are stranded from their homes because bridges were also swept away," Nkoma said.
Giving his vote of thanks, Zvishavane Ngezi legislator, John Holder urged Minister Chidhakwa to swiftly act upon mining companies that are not giving back to their communities even in times of great need.buniness