Editorial Comment

THIS week, we carried a story in which President Emmerson Mnangagwa came to the rescue of 20 000 villagers who were being evicted from a piece of land in Domboshawa, where a Chinese miner wants to start quarrying for aggregate stones.

We were heartened by the act of benevolence by “Our Dear kind and listening leader”.

We, however, wish to hastily express our concern over this issue by asking why it had to take a whole Head of State to stop the Chinese company from evicting the hapless villagers even without compensation?

We understand that no Environmental Impact Assessment was ever done to support the establishment of the quarry, which incidentally was going to destroy the Domboshawa Hills, which are of great historical significance to us as a nation.

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This is where the age-old San community paintings done centuries ago still exist.

We are seriously concerned that it has become a trend that some of our all-weather friends from the Far East continue being given the greenlight to establish their operations without following the rule book.

But even more worrying is the fact that, maybe through desperation, our government is allowing this trend to continue unabated, albeit the recent act of “kindness” from the President.

Also linked to this, and of further concern to us, is the wave of evictions that are taking place on farms across the country, which Mnangagwa has overtly chosen to ignore.

In yesterday’s issue of NewsDay, there is a story of some 5 000 villagers in Matabeleland South’s Insiza district who are being evicted for illegally occupying farmlands there.

War veterans leaders there have since warned that this continuing eviction trend would make the ruling Zanu PF party and its government very unpopular.

We are, therefore, saying Mnangagwa should not act on these issues through acts of benevolence, but should simply make sure that the rule of law is followed through and through, right from the onset.