Chinese company under fire

Villagers living along the Mtshabezi pipe line in Matabeleland South have accused a Chinese company contracted by the government to clear land of damaging their houses.

The villagers told The Zimbabwean that damage had been caused to their property by the blasting carried out by the company to clear land for the pipeline.

One of the villagers, Collen Sibanda, said the roof of his house was damaged by stones.

“A big stone flew from the blasting location and damaged the roof of my house. My family were lucky to be alive because there was no-one in the house when the incident happened,” said Sibanda.

Another villager, Milos Mbambo, said his house had developed cracks as a result of vibrations caused by the blasting.

“I do not know who is going to compensate me for the damage caused to my house by the vibrations. My house is now developing cracks all over and no one is willing to accept responsibility for the damage,” he said.

Mbambo said the villagers last month lodged a complaint with the Ministry of Water Resources and Water Development.

“We want the Ministry to engage the Chinese contractors over the issue. The government should ensure that proper blasting procedures are being followed,” said another villager.

Repeated efforts to get a comment from the Minister of Water Resources and Development, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo were unsuccessful.

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