SMALL-SCALE miners in Mutasa district said Mutasa Rural District Council’s failure to rehabilitate roads that link gold claims and milling plants had adversely affected gold production.

The miners made the remarks at a Green Governance Zimbabwe Trust-organised workshop in the district recently.

Samuel Mandara, a miner, said they were paying road levy every month despite the council’s reluctance to rehabilitate roads.

He said they had been greatly affected particularly this rainy season.

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“As small-scale miners we are struggling to transport gold ore to gold millers because of poor roads. We are paying $60 road levy to Mutasa Rural District Council, but nothing is being done and this is affecting our production,” he said.

“The roads are in a bad state especially in this rainy season, something needs to be done. We end up repairing the roads on our own and this is not good at all,” he said
Zimbabwe Miners Federation treasurer-general Lufeyi Shato, who also attended the meeting said: “Roads has been a cause of concern for us miners and we are really affected. Something needs to be done. Mining is a combination of things, we also need water and electricity among others,” he said.

Council chief executive officer Tonderai Bandure’s mobile phone went unanswered when attempts were made to contact him for comment.

In a related matter, residents in the leafy suburb of Murambi Gardens in Mutare have accused town clerk Joshua Maligwa of prioritising the maintenance of a road that leads to his “doorstep” disregarding some areas in the suburb.

Some residents in the affluent suburb said they were concerned about the poor state of roads.

“We have discovered that the town clerk (Joshua Maligwa) is prioritising the road that leads to his doorstep. He has minimised potholes in his street. We have realised that the road has been patched, disregarding other roads nearby,” said one resident on condition of anonymity.

Another resident said Maligwa was abusing his office “to summon a workforce to patch his tarmac road, disregarding neighbouring roads”.

NewsDay visited Spathodia Avenue over the weekend where the town clerk stays and saw that it had been rehabilitated, while the nearby Sanhanga Road is in bad shape.

United Mutare Residents Ratepayers Trust (UMMRT) director Sebastian Bakare refused to comment on the Maligwa matter.

Last week, he wrote to Mutare City Council complaining about poor roads in Murambi where he also stays.

Mayor Blessing Tandi said he had received the letter, but refused to comment further preferring to be paid a visit at his office.

“I have received the letter, but l don’t prefer to give you my comment through telephone, visit my office,” he said
Bakare yesterday said council was taking residents for granted.

“Mutare City Council is taking us for fools. There is no seriousness in addressing our issues. They should let us know what they are doing with our money,” he said.

“We have been paying roads levy and street light levy in Murambi Gardens but there is no development. We have been paying faithfully these levies. At least council should notify us where the money is going, maybe we can understand.”

Maligwa’s mobile phone went unanswered yesterday.