Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights has written to the Environment Management Agency (EMA) raising concerns over the poor management of the Fools Mine dump and asked the agency to act on the matter.
MIHR visited the area and noted that the mine dump is not fenced properly as the fence is only in the front and at the back which is towards the grazing lands, the fence is either fallen or not there at all. Furthermore, the organization observed that the dump is leaking.
Local villagers also raised concerns that in 2020, their cows will go in (because of lack of fencing) drink the dump waste and die, and the Chinese mine owners will instruct their workers to bury the cows.
The villagers also complained that the Fools Mine dogs are sometimes released and they kill goats belonging to the locals.
It is said that even though the mine now compensates the process is very cumbersome and some villagers even complained that the compensation is for the killed beast but how will they compensate the cultural rituals and symbols that may be put in that animal by its owners since some locals belief in consulting and appeasing their ancestral spirits through cows and goats?
Fools Mine have, on the past two months, been caught on numerous sides being on the wrong side of the law on numerous issues including beating of workers, violation of workers’ rights, employing a Chinese national whose permit has expired, among others.