Yondo in graveyard gold mining controversy

Sheila Mabasa, popularly known as Cde Yondo, a Zanu (PF)-aligned musician who gained fame for leading farm invasions, has courted controversy for encroaching on a cemetery in Norton in search of gold.

Residents are concerned that gold mining activities might disturb land set aside for burial purposes in Westband. They told The Zimbabwean that some senior Zanu (PF) members had allocated party sympathisers gold claims in the area. They believe the claim allocations flout council by-laws.

George Matara, a Maridale suburb resident, said: “There is suspicion that the allocation of gold claims is for those linked to Zanu (PF). Our worry is that it will destroy the cemetery.”

Another resident, Esnath Mupendo, appealed to the town council to stop the invasion of the cemetery.

Asked about her mining activities in the area, Mabasa said she had applied for a mining licence and would start operations as soon as she obtained it.

‘‘I have applied for a gold licence but will not be mining in the graveyard. It is unfortunate that people don’t want to see some of us venturing into gold mining,’’ she said.

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