AMH is an independent media house free from political ties or outside influence. We have four newspapers: The Zimbabwe Independent, a business weekly published every Friday, The Standard, a weekly published every Sunday, and Southern and NewsDay, our daily newspapers. Each has an online edition.

  • Marketing
  • Digital Marketing Manager: tmutambara@alphamedia.co.zw
  • Tel: (04) 771722/3
  • Online Advertising
  • Digital@alphamedia.co.zw
  • Web Development
  • jmanyenyere@alphamedia.co.zw

Poachers invade Nkayi for china clay

VILLAGERS in Nkayi, Matabeleland North province, have raised concern over poachers who have descended on Dakamela village to exploit kaolin resources found in the area.

VILLAGERS in Nkayi, Matabeleland North province, have raised concern over poachers who have descended on Dakamela village to exploit kaolin resources found in the area.

Kaolin is a hydrated aluminium silicate crystalline mineral formed over many millions of years by the hydrothermal decomposition of granite rocks.

Kaolin or china clay is used in ceramics, medicine, coated paper, as a food additive in toothpaste, as a light diffusing material in white incandescent light bulbs and in cosmetics.

The villagers and other stakeholders are accusing the Nkayi Rural District Council (RDC) of conniving with the poachers while depriving them of revenue generated from the mining of their resources.

In an interview this week, Chief Dakamela told Southern Eye that they were being kept in the dark about the mining activities taking place in their community.

“It is not necessarily to say that these people are stealing, but some of these people are getting permission from the council and we are left in the dark on the whole project,” he said.

“We are supposed to be consulted first before these people are given the green light to extract the resources. Some come here asking for permission while holding receipts from council.”

Chief Dakamela said he wished locals could benefit from resources found in their area, adding that council could reach out to the villagers via the traditional leader’s office for engagement.

“We feel we are being exploited here. Our resources are being taken and we are left with nothing to show for it. All we ask is for a piece of the cake so that we assist in boosting the livelihoods of our people,” he said.

“We have had several meetings with the RDC and the chief’s office is always overruled on certain matters. We cannot help but feel sidelined on issues such as these. We and the rural district council need to engage and reach common ground.”

Nkayi South legislator Jabulani Hadebe said there were trucks that were coming to the area for suspected poaching activities.

“There are trucks that come here every now and then to loot kaolin. We suspect the trucks are from Harare. They are unbranded. They are leaving nothing to benefit the people of the area and the rural district council is not receiving anything,” he said.

Hadebe said the suspected poachers had been targeting the clay over the past five years.

“The rural district council has a new chief executive and we have approached him over tightening up security measures and liaising with residents within that particular area to report poachers as soon as they see them,” he said.

Nkayi RDC chief executive Silibele Mpofu said council was aware of the activities in the area.

He, however, added that council was aware of two companies involved in extracting the clay.

“As the council, we entered into contracts with two companies, one of which comes from Kwekwe and is mining in ward 4.

“The other company has not started, but is working on establishing its activities, but both are registered with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. Anyone else mining kaolin besides these two companies is doing so illegally,” he said.

Mpofu said council was in the process of recruiting resource monitors to oversee what is happening on the ground.

Related Topics