Mnangagwa opens arms to Zimbabwe’s ‘colonisation’ by Chinese

The country's biggest opposition party, MDC Alliance has castigated President Emmerson Mnangagwa for promoting a “new colonialism” by embracing troublesome Chinese pillagers.

HARARE – The country’s main opposition party, the MDC Alliance, has lambasted President Emmerson Mnangagwa for promoting a “new colonialism” by backing troublesome Chinese marauders.

The party released the statement on Thursday in response to reports that Chinese miners are clearing entire villages in Mutoko and Uzumba in search of black granite.

Heijin Mining and Shanghai Haoying are the latest Chinese companies accused of evicting hundreds of people from their ancestral lands after receiving special government mining subsidies.

“This new colonialism goes against what our liberators fought for in the liberation struggle. One of the main battles has been over land claims,” said Happymore Chidziva, party secretary for rural mobilization.

“The land is at the heart of human dignity and their rights must be respected. The message from the communities is that Mnangagwa and the local Zanu PF leaders have sold our lands and lands to the Chinese.

“The delegation made the following findings in Uzumba: Chinese company Heijin Mining started exploration in 2020 and pinned lands totaling 300 hectares of common land and potentially displacing nearly 12,000 people.

“The affected villagers were notified of these developments a year after the arrival of the Chinese company.

“They were also informed that the majority of them would be expelled and should seek an alternative solution from their traditional chiefs.

“At Mutoko, the Chinese company began exploration in 2020 and identified areas to mine, which encompass 170 hectares of common land.

“The affected community has not been formally notified of these developments in complete disregard of the communities, their right to information, their right to dignity and their right to be heard.”

The two areas of Mutoko and Uzumba have always been Zanu PF strongholds, but the MDC Alliance has taken advantage of this recent situation to try to end the ruling party’s grip on rural areas.

The party has already sent a delegation to the two districts of Mashonaland East province to assess the situation.

Chidziva said “colonial laws” such as the Mines and Minerals Act and the Communal Lands Act partly allowed for the eviction of villagers.

“These laws must be repealed and instead we must have laws that address our issues and enshrine our dignity and aspirations as a people.

“These expulsions worry us because they reflect authoritarian behavior by the illegitimate Mnangagwa regime,” he added.

MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere also said at the press conference that Zanu PF “stands with big business in China and the MDC Alliance stands with vulnerable and powerless communities” who risk taking their country to lose their heritage, cultural sites, burial sites and livelihoods.

She charged: “Entire survival ecosystems are being destroyed for no reason, because no alternative place of relocation or compensation has been created.

“Section 71 of the Constitution is very clear that in a forced expropriation, due process advice and compensation are essential aspects, but they have all been violated, which I am sure, will be brought to justice.”

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