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Zimbabwe Evicts Illegal Chinese Miners

(FILE) -- This Nov. 1, 2006 file photo shows miners digging for diamonds in Marange, eastern Zimbabwe.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa says the government has evicted all Chinese nationals who were engaged in illegal mining activities along the Mazowe River.

Chidhakwa also told Senate on Thursday that local and foreign investors must stick to the country’s laws.

Responding to questions from Senators on why Chinese nationals were allowed to mine on river beds, Mr. Chidhakwa said the country’s laws did not allow that hence the eviction of those people along the Mazowe River.

He said the problem of people mining on river beds had also been detected in some parts of the country and urged citizens to report any illegal mining activities to his ministry.

On the pollution of rivers by diamond mining companies, Mr. Chidhakwa said it is the responsibility of those companies to prevent or stop the pollution of rivers.

He said companies responsible for the pollution must compensate farmers whose cattle have died after drinking water from polluted rivers.

The Chinese are also involved in diamond mining in Chiadzwa, Manicaland Province.
Also in Senate Thursday, Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa said the country‘s modern marriage laws will be amended to allow traditional leaders to solemnize marriages in their areas of jurisdiction.

This is currently being done by magistrates who are far away from people, particularly in rural areas.

Mr. Mnangagwa said more than 70 percent of marriages are not registered and new changes in marriage laws will encourage couples to register their marriages.

Meanwhile, in the National Assembly, debate on sanctions which raised tempers among lawmakers from both sides of the house was deferred to next Tuesday.

MDC-T Chief Whip Innocent Gonese indicated to Speaker Jacob Mudenda that his members wanted debate to continue.

Zanu-PF chief whip, Jorum Gumbo, objected to such moves. Speaker Mudenda then ruled that there is nothing wrong with deferring the debate to Next Tuesday.

At the same time, lawmaker Prisicillah Misihairabwi Mushonga of the MDC formation led by Professor Welshman Ncube said she will next week move a motion calling on government to provide resources for expanding parliament building or consider having parliament sessions in Bulawayo.

Parliament building does not have adequate space for National Assembly members to the extent that some of them now sit in the Speaker’s gallery during sessions.
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