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Mnangagwa's son in destructive gold mining

by Staff reporter
19 May 2024 at 11:51hrs | Views
THE once-pristine and picturesque Boterekwa escarpment in Shurugwi, Midlands province, now stands as a haunting monument to the ravages of human exploitation and destructive gold mining activities by President Emmerson Mnangagwa's twin son Collins, known at home as Takunda.

The NewsHawks has been reporting on the Boterekwa story for the past three years.

Collins, who is a twin brother to Sean Tafadzwa, is now chairperson and senior partner in a gold mining company with Chinese origins named Chengxi Mining (Pvt) Ltd.

The twins, Collins and Sean, are First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa's sons with the President.
Investigations show that Collins is making a killing from the gold venture as he now travels a lot to China for business meetings, consultations and payments.

Due to his mining activities, Collins now owns a huge mansion at Hellensville, Harare.

Before his father was President initially through a 2017 coup, Collins, like all his siblings, was struggling in town. Now he lives in the lap of luxury.

While Collins and his partners are minting money at Boterekwa, local communities and Zimbabweans have been left with an extensively damage environment.

Mnangagwa is aware of the damage as he uses that road through Boterekwa going and coming back from his rural home.

Mnangagwa's rural home is in Chief Mapanzure's area in Zvishavane.

Locals say Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF are accomplices by acts of commission or omission in the Boterekwa mining disaster, which has sparked a public outcry.

Zanu-PF is a beneficiary of Chengxi's mining activities after getting donated offices.
Chiefs have also been appeased through favours extended by the company.

The company's mining activities have virtually destroyed the Boterekwa escarpment, also known as Wolfshall Pass.

Once a breathtakingly beautiful landscape, Boterekwa has been reduced to a ravaged and desolate expanse by the destructive forces of mining.

The escarpment's rugged hills, verdant valleys, and picturesque physical features, which once echoed with the sweet songs of birds and the gentle rustle of leaves, now lie scarred and barren.

The lush vegetation that once clothed the hillsides has been stripped away, exposing the raw earth, red soils and rocky outcrops to the harsh elements.

The air is thick with the acrid smell of chemicals like cyanide, and the constant din of machinery pierces the valley, shattering the tranquility of this once-peaceful place.

The escarpment's natural contours have been brutally altered, with vast open-pit mines and trenches carved into the earth, leaving behind a labyrinth of industrial infrastructure.

The ravaged escarpment, once a gentle cascade of crystal clear water during the rainy season, now flows with a murky, polluted brew, their natural beauty lost forever.

Boterekwa was famous for freshwater streams and varied plant species, but mining is wreaking havoc in the area, affecting flora and fauna, as well as communities.

Illegal gold panning activities are taking a toll on the aea, turning it upside down.

The destruction of the Botekwa hills is a stark reminder of the devastating impact of mining activities on the natural world. The pursuit of mineral wealth has come at a terrible cost, leaving behind a scarred and broken landscape, a testament to the enduring legacy of human greed and neglect.

To secure political support and cover up its activities, Chengxi recently donated offices in Shurugwi to Zanu-PF in the presence of Collins and Mnangagwa's close allies, including Midlands minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Owen "Mudha" Ncube.
Chengxi general manager Simon Karimanzira named Collins - who was also presented - as a senior partner and chairperson the company.

Video footage of the event shows Collins singing with Ncube, saying Mnangagwa will be there in 2030.

Chengxi was initially in partnership with local miner Chrispen Mahara and was exposed by The NewsHawks last year in April for illegal mining activities on a segment of the picturesque Boterekwa escarpment.

The company agreed to repair a broken down Zanu-PF vehicle and that of Chief Nhema, as part of its corporate social responsibility. Chief Nhema previously said there is need for the government to rein in some of the companies destroying the environment at Boterekwa and Shurugwi.

"An environmental disaster is looming at Boterekwa and Shurugwi at large because of the mining taking place be it from artisanal and small to medium-scale miners to the big mines. If you walk through Boterekwa you will cry because all the flora and fauna is gone. There are heavy machines (bulldozers and front end loaders) eating away the mountains and soon there won't be trees or rivers flowing in Boterekwa," Nhema told a local daily.

These illegal mining activities started as way back as 2011 when the gold miners damaged the same road along the Boterekwa escarpment. It was later  repaired, but the illegal miners are back.

As reported by this publication last year, Ansh Blue 4/8, owned by Mahara in joint partnership with Chengxi, was given the greenlight by the Environmental Management Agency (Ema) to embark on shaft mining, but ended up clandestinely including opencast mining and vatleaching under the name Anshi 68 North 2 and 3, project flouting environmental regulations.

Last year, Ema fined Mahara ZW$400 000 for illegal open cast mining activities at Boterekwa.

Mahara later parted ways with Chengxi.

Mama Dhari, a local miner, came in before, Collins moved in significantly.
Environmental experts say vatleaching produces large amounts of waste effluent which is acidic.

Through a process called gold cyanidation, cyanide process  or cyanide leach mining, cyanide is used to extract gold from the surrounding rock.

While cyanide is both effective and economical, its use and transportation present significant environmental risks.

Gold vat leaching process is currently widely used in small-scale gold mines because of a series of advantages, including high recovery rate, strong adaptability to ore, low cost and simple process.

The basic principle is first to leach the gold from the ore with cyanide solution containing oxygen, and then to extract the gold from the leaching solution with zinc powder or zinc wire.

Excessive cyanide concentration will cause waste of reagents, increase the cost, and cause great pollution to the environment.

Collins' joint venture with the Chinese at Boterekwa has therefore been polluting the environment with toxic waste, putting the lives of animals and people in danger.

Due to the unauthorised open cast mining activities carried out last year, the natural landscape has not only been destroyed but part of the escapement has also been exposed to soil erosion and pollution of downstream water bodies.

Destructive mining practices, coupled with poor environmental practices by both local and mostly Chinese gold and chrome miners along the Shurugwi-Zvishavane highway, have left extensive environmental damage, with devastating consequences.

Chinese companies, such as Chengxi, AfroChine Smelting (Pvt) Ltd, Dore Green Customs Milling, STC Mine Cyanide Chemical (Pvt) Ltd and Ming Chang Sino Africa (Pvt) Ltd, have left a devastating trail of environmental degradation and other problems in their areas of operation.

The authorities and locals have been complaining and pushing to deal with the Boterekwa situation, but with Collins' involvement they are afraid of President Mnangagwa.

Source - newshawks