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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Artisanal miners destroy Bindura railway line

Story by Tapiwa Machemedze

RESIDENTS of Bindura have expressed dismay at the destruction of railway infrastructure by artisanal miners.

This comes after a goods train derailed in Kitsiyatota mining area last Friday.

The destruction has raised public concern amid fears that the artisanal miners could cause more damage.

“Yes, we are artisanal miners, we dig but what’s being done is wrong. It’s not good for us to see the railway being dug and left suspended like this. How will products be transported from Trojan mine,” said one of the miners

Another said, “People should look for mining areas and not the railway, this is not the place to do mining, it’s for trains to travel on.”

A Bindura resident said, “Its true miners are digging the railway, but those that are doing it do not love their country because one who has love for his country cannot say a railway line through hard labour by our grandfathers then they destroy it and it disturbs progress from going on.”

ZANU PF Bindura DCC Secretary for Youth Affairs, Cde Marvelous Nauyanga bemoaned the miningactivities, “I am not happy with what other young people are doing, digging the railway like this, right now we are running with the President’s theme of vision 2030. How do we get there when infrastructure is being destroyed like this. We are saying these people must be arrested, and get stiff penalties.”

Last Friday a train carrying fertiliser derailed near the Kitsiyatota mining area in an incident confirmed by National railways of Zimbabwe Spokesperson, Mr Andrew Kunambura.

“There was a major derailment in Bindura as a result of heavily damaged tracks as a result of illegal gold miners right along the tracks and we have been fighting this scourge in the last few years, they keep digging in the tracks and even last month we had our security officers firing warning shots and four of them were arrested.
The train that derailed was carrying farming inputs mainly for FSG and you can see the harm that damage can do and that’s major economic sabotage being done by the panners,” he explained.

Vandalising critical national infrastructure is a serious offence which attracts a mandatory sentence of up to 10 years under the Railways Act.

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