Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said the government wants to preserve Hwange National Park’s undefiled condition.
Ndlovu made the remarks following reports that the government had granted special permits to two Chinese companies to explore coal in the vast game reserve. Ndlovu said:
We are trying to look at different ways of resolving the issue. Obviously we are not too keen to disturb a national park.
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We would consider other areas but the discussions are around making sure that we preserve the pristine standing of our national park.
Ndlovu added that the government will make a public announcement on the matter in due course.
Reports indicate that the government granted coal-mining concessions to two Chinese-owned firms, Afrochine Energy and the Zimbabwe Zhongxin Coal Mining Group, to mine coal in the country’s largest game park.
Communities in Hwange are already up in arms with the companies whom they accuse of polluting homes, schools, clinics, and irrigation schemes and the Deka River.
More: ZBC News, newZWire