HWANGE – The Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association (ZELA) and Fedelis Chima (Hwange local resident) have lodged a court application seeking to urgently stop the government and a Chinese mining company from embarking on a coal mining venture at Hwange National Park.
This comes after, the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and Zhongxin Mining Group were given a special mining grant in February 2019 before an environmental impact assessment was conducted which is in violation of the country’s laws.
Zimbabwe Zhongxin Mining Group Tongmao Coal Company is cited as the first respondent with the ZMDC, Minister of Mines and Mining Development and Environmental Management Agency (EMA) being the second, third and fourth respondents respectively.
The applicants argue that “The issuance of the special grant in February 2019 before environmental impact assessment is in violation of Section 97 of the Environmental Management Act.”
Environmental experts have also expressed concern over this exploration, arguing that if undertaken it would force the animals to migrate to other areas outside Zimbabwe thus not only negatively affecting the environment but also the tourism sector.
Hwange National Park is home to a diverse range of animals and contributes a large chunk of Africa’s remaining wild elephants.