BY NUNURAI JENA

VILLAGERS in Mhangura, 185km north west of Harare, have implored government to concentrate on reopening old mines to than opening them instead of opening new mining sites which require heavy capital injection.

Speaking last week during a national development strategy consultative meeting funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, the villagers said government should move beyond the rhetoric of job creation.

“We are being told time and again that jobs are being created, but on the ground it’s a different thing altogether. Government should concentrate on reopening old mines like Mhangura, Alaska, Shackleton and Golden Kopje instead of creating new mines that need substantial amounts of foreign currency which the country cannot afford,” said Crispen Mapiye, a former Mhangura Mine worker.

The villagers also said there was need for government to provide resettled farmers and communal farmers with title deeds as a long-term measure to improve agricultural productivity..
“If government wants to improve agricultural productivity, it must take the issue of title deeds seriously . . . farmers can borrow against their properties if they have title deeds unlike the current situation” said a villager who requested anonymity.

National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (Nango) director Leonard Mandishara said citizens had at various consultative meetings raised concern over unemployment, rising inflation, high health and educational fees, land tenure and corruption.

The government is in the process of developing the national development strategy which is a medium-term plan to guide national development for the period 2021-2025 with UNDP assistance.

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